Volunteers Sought To Serve On Key Committees

Amherst Town Hall. Photo: Art Keene.

Source: amherstma.gov

The Town of Amherst seeks members of the community to serve on several key committees.

Jones Library Building Committee
Join the Committee that will bring the vision for the new Jones Library to reality. The Jones Library Building Committee (JLBC) will oversee the design and construction of the Jones Library Restoration and Expansion.

The JLBC will guide the Jones Library Restoration and Expansion project. All major decisions will be brought to the JLBC for review, approval, and formal submission to the Library Board of Trustees and Town Manager for final approval, as required.

Throughout the life of the project, the JLBC will work as a team with several consultants, including an Owner’s Project Manager (OPM), an Architect, and Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioner (MBLC) Building Specialists. The JLBC will develop a timeline, milestones, and plans for the project and recommend a specific set of plans to the Library Board of Trustees and Town Manager for approval.

The JLBC will work with the Library Director and Town Manager to ensure the public is kept informed and engaged with the Jones Library Restoration and Expansion project. More information on the Jones Library and this Building Project can be found here.

Community Safety and Social Justice Committee
The Town has formed a new Community Safety and Social Justice Committee. The Committee will work to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and community safety in Amherst. The Committee will have seven voting members. Two of the initial appointments shall have been members of the Community Safety Working Group. At least five of the seven voting members shall represent Black, Indigenous, People of Color, or other historically marginalized communities. Appointments shall strive to represent a broad range of the Town’s socio-economic diversity. To that end, financial stipends (to be determined) will be provided to support the work of Committee members.

The Committee will incorporate and continue the work of the Community Safety Working Group. Included in its charge will be support for the work of the soon-to-be-formed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion department; support of the Community Responders for Equity, Safety, and Service program; and working to address the needs of BIPOC and other marginalized groups including the disabled, immigrants, and LGBTQIA. Members will be provided a stipend for their service on this committee.

African Heritage Reparation Assembly
The Amherst Town Council has established the African Heritage Reparations Assembly (AHRA), a seven-member committee with a mission to study and develop reparation proposals for People of African Heritage in Amherst.

The Town Manager, as appointing authority, is seeking one member to fill a vacancy on the AHRA. The seven-member committee will include six Black residents, at least two of whom are current or former members of elected bodies in Amherst. One member shall be a representative from Reparations For Amherst.

The AHRA will be charged with developing a Municipal Reparations Plan that includes both a reparations fund and a community-wide process of reconciliation and repair for harms against Black people. The plan will include:

  • A plan for developing ongoing funding streams to repair past harms committed by the Town against Black people.
  • An allocation plan including eligibility criteria, which will be determined and approved by the broader Amherst Black community through a census and community feedback process.
  • Additional means of repair for anti-Black structural and communal racism, including public events and activities that prioritize truth telling and reconciliation.

The AHRA will also coordinate with other groups working toward racial equity in Amherst to ensure collaboration.

Human Rights Commission
The Human Rights Commission promotes the Town’s Human Rights Policy to insure that no person, public or private, shall be denied any rights guaranteed pursuant to local, state, and/or federal law on the basis of race or color, gender, physical or mental ability, religion, socio-economic status, ethnic or national origin, affectional or sexual preference, lifestyle, or age for all persons coming within the Town of Amherst.

How To Apply

Residents interested in volunteering to serve, should fill out a Community Activity Form at: www.amherstma.gov/caf You can learn more about the above groups at www.amherstma.gov/boards 

Questions should be directed to the town Community Participation Officers via e-mail at getinvoled@amherstma.gov or by phone at 413-259-3002

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3 thoughts on “Volunteers Sought To Serve On Key Committees

  1. I believe Council on Aging has openings as well. How bout the Resident’s Advisory Committee? and Housing Authority? Hard to tell from rate of update to the city’s ‘announcement’ page.

  2. There is also an opening on the Amherst Municipal Affordable Housing Trust. Applications welcome.

  3. The most current list published online at amherstma.gov shows a number of committee vacancies. The Town Manager has nominated Nicola Usher to fill the RAC vacancy, which will likely be approved at the next Council meeting. To my knowledge, the rest of the vacancies remain. I am chair of the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) and we’ve had one of our two vacancies for almost two years. We’ve had trouble meeting quorum for recent meetings and who very much like to fill both vacancies and diversify the committee membership.

    Here’s the current (11/17/21) list of committee vacancies published on the town web site (link here: https://www.amherstma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/37003/Committee-and-Board-Vacancies-Report-11242021?bidId=)
    African Heritage Reparation Assembly (1 vacancy);
    Agricultural Commission (5 vacancies);
    Amherst Affordable Housing Trust Fund Board of Trustees (1 vacancy);
    CDBG Advisory Committee (2 vacancies);
    Community Safety Social Justice Committee (7 vacancies);
    Council on Aging (1 vacancy);
    Design Review Board (1 vacancy);
    Disability Access Advisory Committee (1 vacancy);
    Energy and Climate Action Committee (1 vacancy);
    Human Rights Commission (3 vacancies);
    Jones Library Building Committee (2 vacancies);
    Public Art Commission (2 vacancies);
    Public Shade Tree Committee (1 vacancy);
    Recreation Commission (1 vacancy);
    Residents Advisory Committee (1 vacancy);
    Transportation Advisory Committee (2 vacancies)

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