Don’t Just Get Mad, Do Something!
It’s time for Cape women to get involved in local government.
As this chart clearly demonstrates, the ratio of women to men serving on local boards, committees, and commissions is out of balance. Women’s perspectives and voices need to be a part of the decision making that determines our quality of life on Cape Cod today and in future.
In 2015 and 2016, women made up slightly more than a quarter of the chief executive and policy making bodies of Cape Cod towns. Twenty-two of 83 (27 percent) town councilors and selectmen were women.
However, in 2016, two towns – Bourne and Orleans — had no women on their select boards. In general, planning boards and zoning boards of appeals had even lower total numbers of women (22 percent and 12 percent, respectively). Bourne and Eastham have no women on their planning boards, but, in Dennis and Brewster, women are majorities on the planning boards. In 2014, the number of women on planning boards and finance committees was slightly higher than in 2015 and 1016. Housing committees continue to have the highest numbers of female members.
Join a board, committee or commission because you want to make a difference!
You may see one with issues that interest you, or you may just want to learn about issues unfamiliar to you. A Point Person from the Cape Women’s Coalition will be happy to meet with you to answer any questions and explain some of the responsibilities of serving in your town. Point Persons also keep abreast of vacancies on boards, committees, and commissions.
CWC Point Persons:
Helen Bresnahan (firstname.lastname@example.org): Mashpee and Sandwich
Amy Sharpe (email@example.com; 508-317-8402): Bourne, Falmouth, Brewster and Eastham
Florence Seldin (firstname.lastname@example.org; 508-945-0192) Chatham
Susan Keohan (email@example.com; 508-349-0192): Wellfleet
Kathy Teahan (firstname.lastname@example.org;781-789-3317 ): Yarmouth, Barnstable, Truro, Provincetown, Orleans
Bev Johnson (email@example.com): Harwich and Dennis
The following list provides information about boards and committees and applications by town – find your town, get involved!
The information in this post is also available on the page: Joining a Town Committee.
List of boards and committees here