Preserving the Low-Income Voice: Snapshots of Democratic Selection Procedures in a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a multitude of unprecedented challenges for CAAs. One of the challenges that has spurred CAAs to innovate is the need to recruit and elect representatives of the low-income community to serve on the tripartite board.

Roughly half of 150 CAA respondents to a recent survey said that they changed some aspect of their existing procedures for low-income sector board recruitment or elections in response to the pandemic. Many revealed that the changes resulted in a more effective, streamlined process that enabled additional community members to participate.

While serious obstacles to client engagement still existed, such as lack of internet access, transportation, and childcare, on top of state and local restrictions on gatherings and service delivery, CAAs adapted. Even amidst the difficulties, many agencies successfully recruited and elected new low-income sector representatives to their board. Some of their experiences and outcomes are discussed in this collection of snapshots, which we hope will assist other CAAs with community engagement and tripartite board compliance throughout the pandemic, and beyond.


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