Columbia, CA, village elections and local leadership

22 Mar

columbia association monthly newsletter, village electionsI have many an opinion about the make-up of the Columbia Association’s board of directors, village leadership and developing local leaders. But that’s another post for another day. For now, I’m going to chronicle what CA did in 2012 to promote and support local leadership. Perhaps this will serve as a guide and path for others to follow. Hope springs eternal.

In 2012, CA —

Created a website focused on local leadership opportunities in the villages and CA;

Ran a full back-page ad in the Columbia Flier encouraging people to vote and get involved in local leadership opportunities;

Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 10.37.53 PMRan ads in The Business Monthly and other pubs encouraging people to get involved as candidates, volunteers and/or voters;

Ran Facebook ads to the same effect;

Ran a significant campaign across all of its online communication channels — multiple Facebook and Twitter accounts, the monthly TV show shown on Comcast, YouTube videos and Comcast PSAs;

Shared the election-focused PSA with the villages and encouraged them to promote the video, the leadership-focused website and other relevant content;

Ran a year-long “Why I Serve” series of articles in the CA Monthly (that continues to this day, I do believe), in which people serving on village boards, CA committees and the Columbia Council were highlighted;

Embarked on an extensive campaign to increase the press releases, ads, announcements and community outreach to announce various committee and leadership opportunities that don’t require a campaign or election, knowing that many people move up the leadership ladder after starting out in volunteer committees;

Ran several pre-election articles in the CA Monthly (delivered inside the Flier to every residence and business in Columbia) about the elections, getting involved, dates for filing for candidacies and voting locations; followed by post-election articles about the new CA board;

Encouraged village managers to list their board and CCR positions in the Howard County Board Connect site.

columbia association, why i serve, tom coaleShared the leadership-focused communications plan with the village managers and encouraged them to use CA’s materials and “path” as a guide;

Added a two-page spread on leadership opportunities to the CA at a Glance annual mailing.

And held numerous free, well-publicized Lunch & Learn sessions about social media, communications and citizen engagement to which all the village managers, their staff, their volunteers and their boards were invited.

The tools, the ads, the plans, the strategies, the systems and the knowledge for how to rock communications about the village elections, getting involved in local leadership and voting have all been layered into CA and shared with the villages. I’m sure this list can be improved upon in coming years. As I said, hope springs eternal.


2 Responses to “Columbia, CA, village elections and local leadership”

  1. John Slater March 23, 2013 at 7:41 am #


    I applaud the effort to advance leadership on the CA Board but it’s a shame the leadership feels the need to sneak behind closed doors and set up a shell organization to carry on their agenda beyond the view of the public. This does not feel good.

  2. JessieX March 23, 2013 at 7:57 am #

    John, I appreciate your engagement and care for the community we share. I would add that “shame” and “sneak” are words of your perception; they are not truth but how you see the world and CA’s actions. Others would — and do — claim to see it otherwise.

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