The WAMU Community Council is WAMU 88.5's community advisory board, as defined by the Public Broadcasting amendments of 1981. The purpose of the Council is to represent the interests of the listening public in regular meetings with the staff and management of WAMU 88.5. The Community Council consists of up to 21 individuals living within the coverage area of the station who are contributing members and who wish to preserve, promote and strengthen the public radio service provided by WAMU 88.5. The composition of the Council reflects the diversity of the community served by the station. Council Members serve as an extra set of "eyes and ears" for the station. The Council also provides assistance to station staff in carrying out community outreach activities. The role of the Community Council is solely advisory in nature.
The Community Council periodically reviews the programming goals and significant decisions of WAMU 88.5 and advises station management with respect to whether the programs and other policies of the station are meeting the needs of the communities served by the station. Meetings of the Council are held quarterly and are open to the public. Each meeting includes a "Public Comment," a time for listeners in attendance to voice their comments, concerns, or suggestions for the station.
The Council also carries out other plans and activities calculated to strengthen ties between WAMU 88.5 and the community. For example, the Council regularly holds Community Dialogues which convene local leaders and members of the community to discuss specific issues of particular interest to the region. These closed, off–the-record sessions provide background information and valuable contacts for the station's reporters and program producers. Community Dialogues are closed to the public, so that the participants can freely have off-the-record discussions for the benefit of the reporters and program producers; however, there is a valuable way for you to impact the conversation, and possibly future stories on WAMU 88.5. If you have an idea for a topic that you believe has potential for in-depth, community-based discussion, email email@example.com.
Each year at the Fall Quarterly meeting of the Community Council, the Chair appoints a Nominating Committee to consider all of the suggestions for new members which have been received from current members of the Council, station staff and station supporters. After reviewing the bios of all of the candidates, taking into consideration the need to maintain an ethnic, racial and gender balance and to represent all parts of the listening community, the Committee makes it recommendations. The report of the Nominating Committee is submitted to the entire Council at the final meeting of the year in December and the full Council votes to recommend candidates to fill vacancies. Members of our listening public may also self-nominate. (See below) Following the action by the Council, Station Management makes the appointments.
Council Members serve three-year staggered terms. The station’s legal advisor, Peter Tannenwald, serves as an ex-officio member of the Council. Council Members who have completed their first three-year term on the Council may be nominated to serve an additional term. However after they have completed their second term they must take a leave of at least one year before being reappointed. The appointment to a second three-year term is not automatic and must be approved by the Council and station management.
For additional information about the WAMU Community Council and its activities, please call Anne Healy at 202/885-1264 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a WAMU member and would like to be considered for membership on the Council, please submit your bio and a letter explaining why you would like become a Council Member to Anne before September 30 and she will bring your information to the attention of the Nominating Committee.