You can be a Functional Democracy Fellow


Functional Democracy Fellows will help bring 150 Austinites, who have never testified at a City Council meeting before, to City Hall to make their voices heard!

In one night, we’ll help expose local elected officials to a new and diverse array of viewpoints, hopes, dreams, and fears.

Oh, and we’ll have a whole lot of fun doing it!

A bit more info…

Too few people participate in our country’s political system. We know this. You know this. 

Now’s the time to do something about it. 

A Functional Democracy is organizing our city’s first-ever “First Time Testifiers Night” at City Hall in November and we want you to help us make it as impactful as possible. 

Here’s what we’re trying to do - Our goal is to bring 150 Austinites, who have never testified at a City Council meeting before, to City Hall to make their voices heard! 

But we want this to be a truly community-led project. That’s where you come in! We’re looking for 20 (2 from each Council District) amazing, passionate, wonderful Austinites to serve in the first ever class of the Functional Democracy Fellows.

Fellows will help to recruit and train first-time testifiers from their district, as well as guide them around City Hall on First Time Testifiers Night.

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Things you’ll do:

  • Participate in our “Train the Trainer” workshop/meet and greet on August 26th (or in our virtual workshop later in the week if you can’t be there in person) - so you’ll be ready to go out there in the world and go do! (~1.5 hour)

  • Recruit 15-20 people from your district who have never testified at a city council meeting before (~10 hours)

  • Conduct a session (or two) to train your district’s “first time testifiers” so they feel confident, prepared, and super smart when they show up to City Hall. (Don’t worry, we’ll be providing you with the tools you need to do this.) (~5 hour)

  • Keep your recruits in the loop and excited leading up to the event. (~4 hours)

  • Volunteer at “First Time Testifiers Night” in November to help guide newbies through the City Hall experience and pump them up to walk into chambers and make their voices heard! (~8 hours)

This is for you if:

  • You’re passionate about helping raise up the voices of other amazing people in your neighborhood/ City Council district. (You don’t have to be an expert about local politics to do this.) 

  • You have a strong social network (or the desire to build one) 

  • You have ~25 hours over the next 3 months to volunteer your time

Value to you:

  • Establish yourself as a leader in the civic community

  • Your name will be listed in promotional materials and you’ll gain media exposure for being a fellow

  • Meet folks with similar passions

  • Learn about local government and position yourself as a leader in your district

  • Gain knowledge that you can use to teach others, whenever you want

  • You will be responsible for getting at least 15 people engaged and contributing to civic life in Austin. Do you know how many people have EVER brought 15 new people to a city council meeting? Maybe nobody :)

So what are you waiting for? Apply already!

The application is below. The application deadline has been extended to Thursday, August 22nd at noon CST.

Functional Democracy Fellow Application

Name *
Let us know why you'd like to be a fellow!
Don't know which district you live in? You can look it up here -
If so, enter them below, along with your level of proficiency.
Let 'em below!