Eric Lerner, Ph.D. 
Community & Organizational Development 

Publications  |  Workshops  |  Services  |  About  |  Home

Citizen Advisory Committees: A guide for members and potential members
by Alan J. Hahn

"From planning boards to environmental management councils, from advisory committees on water quality planning to one on coordinating social services, large numbers of citizen advisory committees (or CACs) have been established over the years to provide official channels for citizen influence in public planning and decision making.  Such committees -- going by a wide variety of names -- may advise elected officials (such as mayors or town boards), administrative agencies, or such nongovernmental organizations as church groups and private human service agencies.  Especially in recent years, many of them have been set up in response to legislative requirements for public involvement in various federally assisted programs.


Will a CAC be an effective means of citizen involvement or just window dressing for the politicians, agencies or organizations it supposedly advises?  A significant share of the responsibility rests with the members themselves.  This bulletin is intended for them (and for others who are thinking about becoming members).  It covers the following topics:

  • what costs and benefits to expect
  • what kinds of attitudes to expect from those to be advised
  • how to increase the likelihood that a CAC's advice will be followed."
An Extension publication of the New York State College of Human Ecology and the New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Statutory Colleges of the State University, at Cornell University [undated].

This pamphlet is out of print.  Cornell Media Services has given me permission to reproduce it here.  Others are permitted to download, print, and make copies so long as 1) Credit is given to Alan Hahn and Cornell University; and 2) It may not be sold for a profit.

I have not found a good way to convert my single hardcopy of this pamphlet into a PDF file for Adobe Acrobat.  Instead, I have scanned it into a series of JPG files.  I've had to compromise between crisp, printable images and short download times.  I hope these are neither too blurry nor too large.  Use the *back* button on your browser to return to this page.  Please let me know if there's a problem.

Eric Lerner, Ph.D.
Community & Organizational Development
504 South Plain Street
Ithaca, NY  14850
(607) 273-1154

Page updated October 1, 2001

Publications  |  Workshops  |  Services  |  About  |  Home