Fundamentals

Your CPO is a resource for community members to stay informed about matters of local and countywide interest, find help to resolve a situation, and become more involved and influential in the community. With the support of the CPO Program, CPOs conduct public meetings where all are welcome, and they keep basic, simple public records to maintain transparency.

Becoming involved in your CPO can offer you many opportunities. You can:
   
  • Build a sense of community where you live and help identify what makes your community unique. 
  • Enrich your life and our community by investing in "social capital"—what Robert Putnam calls "the very fabric of our connections with each other." 
  • Make connections and build your network. Meet community leaders and get to know them, and become better known within your community. 
  • Use your leadership experience as a stepping stone to serving on appointed advisory committees or in elected positions. 
  • Hear about issues impacting the broad range of community members in the county and learn to work with diverse populations and opinions. 
  • Learn and practice volunteer and organizational skills. The CPO Program will provide its own regular educational opportunities and trainings (or referrals to other opportunities) for meeting facilitation, agenda planning, group process, community engagement methods, public policy development, and leadership development. 
  • Gain a better understanding of how government operates and the mechanisms available to influence policies and practices. 

This section covers the "how to" of organizing and sustaining a CPO: