The CWBA Programs Committee hosts an iteration of the Storming series every year. In past years, we have Stormed the Bench, the Board, and the Ballot. This year, on February 10, 2021, we decided to Storm the Commissions. My co-chair, Hannah Westmont, and I, wanted to empower our members—including ourselves—to learn about and join all of the commissions that are out there in Colorado.
Hannah and I were amazed by how many commissions exist when we started digging in! We initially had planned Storming for mid-October 2020, but we realized quite quickly that we could have a much cooler event if we gave ourselves a little more time. Ultimately, when we held Storming in February, we had 6 breakout rooms, 14 speakers, and 7 facilitators. We were incredibly lucky to have Nikky Patel and Jenna Goldstein as our keynote speakers. Nikky is the Deputy Director of Boards and Commissions and Jenna is the Deputy Legal Counsel at the Governor’s Office. Nikky and Jenna explained to us what, exactly, all these boards and commissions are and why it is so important for CWBA members to be involved.
For the purposes of Storming, the breakout rooms focused on:
Judicial Nominating Commissions (JNC);
Judicial Performance Commissions (JPC);
Women and Children;
Supreme Court Nomination Commission (SCN);
Municipal Commissions; and
Colorado Access to Justice Commission.
There are so many interesting boards and commissions, but we thought this particular set of breakout rooms would appeal the most to our members. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, the CWBA created an informative fact sheet.
Colorado has more than 320 boards and commissions made up of over 2,200 people. The more diverse the commissions and boards are, the more representative the boards and commissions are of our State! There is a board for almost everything and many opportunities for members to serve. You can apply through the State’s online portal here: https://www.colorado.gov/governor/boards-commissions-application. You can apply to up to five boards at a time, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The Governor’s Office holds applications for two years, and all applications are reviewed any time there is an unexpected vacancy or a scheduled appointment. This means that YOU should apply if you see any boards or commissions that you are interested in!
Kate Russell is a staff attorney at Colorado Legal Services, where she focuses primarily on debt collection defense and protecting consumers from abusive and predatory debt collectors. Prior to joining CLS, Kate was in private practice where she also focused on consumer rights litigation. Kate is excited to join the Programs Committee this year and is looking forward to this next chapter with the CWBA. Kate attended the University of North Carolina for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees, and maintains a deep love for Carolina basketball.