Q: What IS City Club of Central Oregon?
A: The City Club of Central Oregon is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to build a conscious and civic-minded community through dialogue, education and research that results in responsible civic engagement. The organization strives to serve all of Central Oregon.
Q: So what exactly does that mean?
A: We look for ways to raise awareness and engagement – and incite nuanced conversations – about key issues that impact Central Oregon. A leading way in which we do this is via our monthly forums, which we carefully plan to present various aspects of issues that are important to the folks living in Central Oregon. From gun safety to houselessness to fairness in youth sports (to name just a few topics), our organization tries to elevate the key questions around these types of issues and then present enlightening information so that our audiences can be engaged and informed about these critical topics.
Q: Come on, do you really think just presenting information will make a difference in our community?
A: Well, yes and no. We plan our forums making every effort to engender the magic dust of any community: Responsible, informed and committed civic engagement. We do everything we can to highlight important community issues–but the real difference in our community comes when our audiences take the information and act on it, either by having conversations with others in the community, volunteering for important events or nonprofits, voting, canvassing or any other constructive way to help improve our community. Because at the core of everything, we believe, is our special community where people truly care for each other, our environment, our civic organizations, and our greater civilization.
Q: OK, that makes sense. But what do you do besides present monthly forums?
A: We host other events, such as election/candidate forums in cooperation with the League of Women Voters, and we send out periodic newsletters and follow-up communications to topics we’ve previously covered in forums. We regularly survey our membership to determine the most salient and relevant topics to cover.
Q: Do you offer your events in person?
A: Our monthly forums are in person and recorded (not livestreamed). Some events like our candidate forums are livestreamed. All recordings are available on our YouTube page.
Q: I do want to come in person (though not in my pajamas)! Do I have to be a member to attend City Club forums and events?
A: Not at all, you can attend as a non-member. And members may attend as many or as few events that work for you with no penalty to your membership status.
Q: Do I have to be invited to join?
A: Absolutely not! We welcome newcomers to attend an event and see if you enjoy and learn from it! If you are interested, you may join City Club online here.
Q: How many people can attend at the member rate under each member type:
Individual: The individual named on the membership may attend at the member rate.
Buddy Pack: The two individuals named on the membership may attend at the member rate.
Business Organization: The people from the organization can attend a forum at the member rate.
Sponsors: Sponsorships include 1-5 people per forum for free and additional attendees at the member rate. See sponsorship levels for more details.
Q: How do you select the forum topics?
A: City Club is fortunate to have four volunteer committees supporting the Board’s work. One is the Program Committee, which meets monthly to choose topics and plans many months out. The Program Committee carefully evaluates topics submitted by the public, members, and the committee to design an annual set of programs that is diverse, interesting, and multi-dimensional. We also accept forum topic ideas here. The other committees are the Marketing Committee, Membership Committee and the Sponsorship Committee. If any of these committees sound interesting to you, please reach out and volunteer!
Q: Are you a part of the city? Who runs your organization?
A: No, we are not a part of the city or any other government organization. Like all nonprofits, we are run by a dedicated Board of Directors who are volunteers drawn from throughout Central Oregon. Our current board may be found here. In addition, we are more than fortunate to employ a full-time Executive Director, longtime Central Oregonian Kim Gammond.
Q: Is your organization left-leaning or right-leaning? What are your politics?
A: As much as humanly possible, we strive to be nonpartisan. We do not have politics.
Q: What does the registration fee for forums pay for?
The fee helps us form the content in the program. Significant time and resources goes into planning each our forums. And registration fees do not cover all the expenses, membership and sponsorship contributions are essential to our programming.
Q: At the end of the day, what does success look like for City Club?
A: At City Club, we deem ourselves successful if we can incite engagement in our community around the issues affecting the lives of those who live here. We are successful if we can present topics and information in ways that elevate key issues and provide unbiased information to shed light on them. We are successful if we inspire community members to reach out, care, and act on issues that can make a difference for all. We are successful if we effectively serve our community and enrich the lives of all who reside here. And we are successful if you read to the end of this FAQ and join/volunteer/attend an event and add yourself to the growing corps of those working to keep Central Oregon the special place that it has been.