Take Your Seat Initiative

The Initiative aims to provide education, resources, and support to working Cape Codders seeking elected and appointed roles in local government.

About the Initiative

The Take Your Seat Initiative was formed by a group of locals who recognize how urgently town government needs our working-age population to step into leadership roles. We don’t just need warm bodies: we need competent, passionate, and committed individuals serving on boards and committees in all fifteen towns (plus the islands!) in order to create a future for Cape Cod that works for all of us.

The Initiative aims to provide education, resources, and support to working-age Cape Codders in seeking elected and appointed town roles. And, once there, to help them develop the skills needed to serve successfully. The team’s combined experience with board service, knowing how local government works, how to be effective leaders, and a deeply-held desire to create real, lasting change all add up to form the Take Your Seat Initiative.

Meet the Team

Amanda Bebrin

Amanda Bebrin

Amanda Bebrin ‘washed ashore’ from Connecticut in 2012, after a lifetime of vacationing on Cape Cod. She holds a BA in French and Secondary Education from Providence College and has been a local Realtor since 2013. Always seeking to contribute to the community, she volunteered for the United Way and the Cape Cod Foundation before attending her first Town Meeting – it was love at first vote. In 2021, she was elected to the Brewster Planning Board, and now also serves on the Vision Planning Committee and the Bay Parcel Planning Committee.

Her love of helping others understand new and relevant topics is central to her success in guiding clients through the home buying and selling process, as well as being a driving factor in creating Take Your Seat. Amanda’s hope for the program is to equip working-age Cape Codders with the knowledge and skills needed to confidently participate in local government, for the benefit of the entire community.

In her spare time, she plays the piano, enjoys the company of her incomparable friends and family, and explores Nickerson State Park with her dog, Fen.

Courtney Butler

Courtney Butler

Courtney Butler is a proud public servant and municipal employee. She moved to Cape Cod in 2015, to intern at the Cape Cod National Seashore for the summer; 7 years later and the Cape is her permanent home. While at the CCNS, Courtney served as the park’s Superintendent Assistant. Working with the many towns within the Seashore, Courtney discovered her passion for municipal government. In 2021, Courtney received her MPA from Roger Williams University. Courtney has previously worked for the Town of Wellfleet and currently serves as the Executive Assistant to the Town Administrator and Select Board in Dennis.

Courtney is a die-hard CLI alumnus and can be seen at many LCC events. She is also an avid photographer and outdoorswoman. Courtney lives with her partner, a Yarmouth Firefighter, and their Micro Bulldog Pharaoh, in South Yarmouth.

Sarah Colvin

Sarah Colvin

Sarah Colvin is a communications specialist with more than two decades of experience in local media and government communications. She began her on-air career at Cape Cod Community College’s 90.7 WKKL. Since then, Sarah has anchored live morning news broadcasts, served as a morning show co-host, and produced and hosted weekly public-affairs programs on several local stations, including WQRC, WOCN, and Frank-FM. In addition, she hosted and produced a daily live municipal news program for the Town of Barnstable before moving on to create Cape Media News, a weekly television news broadcast serving the mid-Cape region. Sarah has brought her media and government communications experience together in her latest role as Communications Manager for the Cape Cod Commission, the regional land use planning, economic development, and regulatory agency serving the 15 towns and citizens of Barnstable County. She lives in Hyannis with her husband and their two dogs.

Why You Should Take Your Seat

Cape Cod has a longstanding tradition of government being very local and participatory. Our towns run on decisions made here by our residents. While it can seem daunting to get involved, our community needs diverse perspectives and new voices to preserve what’s special about our community, while building a future that works for all of us.

The Take Your Seat (TYS) initiative aims to provide education and access to individuals looking to increase their leadership skills and roles in their community. With resources and support from those already serving in municipal government, the goal of TYS is to empower working-age people to add their voices to the local decision-making processes.

Leadership Cape Cod and our partners hope to increase the transparency and understanding of how local government functions and what is required to be involved. We want to do our part to lower the barriers of entry and increase the diversity of community members who serve their town, and the ways in which they serve.

Our region is faced with a number of challenges that impact our everyday life, from a lack of housing to declining water quality – and with more of our working-age residents participating in local government, our community leaders can advocate for the changing needs of our community and make progress on the issues at hand.

Where to Get Involved

Whether you’re just starting to learn about how your town functions, or you’re ready to pursue a role in a local government, this is the place to start!

Each town on Cape Cod has its own personality and history – and that includes how they structure their boards, committees, and processes.

Find your town in the list and use the links to explore the town website, including information about Town Meeting, Select Board (or Board of Selectmen, or Town Council…) and vacancies for open board and committee positions.

Barnstable

Barnstable

Boards and Committees

  • Application
  • Point of Contact – Administrator to the Town Council at 508-862-4738

Town Clerk

Town Meeting

Town Council

Brewster

Brewster

Boards and Committees

  • Application
  • Point of Contact – Town Administrator/Select Board office at 508-896-3701

Town Clerk

Town Meeting

Select Board

Chatham

Chatham

Boards and Committees

  • Application
  • Point of Contact – Select Board office at 508-945-5105

Town Clerk

Town Meeting

Select Board

Dennis

Dennis

Boards and Committees

  • Application
  • Point of Contact – Administration at 508-760-6148

Town Clerk

Town Meeting

Select Board

Eastham

Eastham

Boards and Committees

  • Application
  • Point of Contact – Select Board office at 508-240-5900

Town Clerk

Town Meeting

Select Board

Falmouth

Falmouth

Boards and Committees

  • Application
  • Point of Contact – Select Board office at 508-495-7320

Town Clerk

Town Meeting

Select Board

Harwich

Harwich

Boards and Committees

  • Application
  • Point of Contact – Board of Selectmen office at (508) 430-7513

Town Clerk

Town Meeting

Board of Selectmen

Mashpee

Mashpee

Boards and Committees

  • Application
  • Point of Contact – Select Board’s Office at (508) 539-1401

Town Clerk

Town Meeting

Board of Selectmen

Orleans

Orleans

Boards and Committees

  • Application
  • Point of Contact – Select Board’s Office at (508) 240-3700 x415

Town Clerk

Town Meeting

Select Board

Provincetown

Provincetown

Boards and Committees

  • Application
  • Point of Contact – Town Clerk’s office at (508) 487-7013

Town Clerk

Town Meeting

Select Board

Truro

Truro

Boards and Committees

  • Application
  • Point of Contact – Select Board office at (508) 349-7004

Town Clerk

Town Meeting

Select Board

Yarmouth

Yarmouth

Boards and Committees

  • Application
  • Point of Contact – Board of Selectmen office at 508-398-2231, Ext. 1270

Town Clerk

Town Meeting

Board of Selectmen

Wellfleet

Wellfleet

Boards and Committees

  • Application
  • Point of Contact – Selectboard office at 508-349-0300

Town Clerk

Town Meeting

Selectboard

Nantucket

Nantucket

Boards and Committees

  • Application
  • Point of Contact – Public Records Compliance Officer at 508-228-7200 ext 7341

Town Clerk

Town Meeting

Select Board

Martha's Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard

Aquinnah

Chilmark

Edgartown

  • Boards and Committees
    • Application
    • Point of Contact

Oak Bluffs

Tisbury

  • Boards and Committees
    • Application – submit a letter of interest to the Select Board, PO Box 1239, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568
    • Point of Contact – Select Board office at (508) 696-4200

What Does This Mean?

Understanding town government means learning a whole bunch of new vocabulary words. But serving your community shouldn’t feel like you’re prepping for the SATS, or learning a second language (because frankly, that Duolingo owl creeps us out…).

Don’t start Googling just yet! We put together a list of all the terms you should know, or might come across, in your time as a local representative.

Jargon 101 defines some of the most frequent terms used by and for local government, the Name Game tab breaks down the different groups and their responsibilities, and Town Meeting outlines the basics of String Theory (just kidding, it’s about Town Meeting!).

Jargon 101

The Name Game

Town Meeting

How Does it All Work?

It’s no secret that town governments urgently need fresh voices and different perspectives. Read the paper, attend any conference, chat with a random person in the grocery store – they all say, get involved with local government! Join a board! Make change!

That’s great and all but… how do you actually do the damn thing? Who do you talk to, how long does it take, will they ask for your blood type?

Questions?
Contact us with specific concerns and conundrums!

Menu