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About Us

Community Council's mission is to foster a trusted gathering place where people engage in dialogue, inquiry and advocacy to build a vibrant region for everyone. Our region includes Columbia and Walla Walla counties and the Milton-Freewater area.

Community Council is a nonpartisan, nongovernmental, diverse and inclusive organization committed to open dialogue, solid research, consensus building and effective advocacy.

Community Council is governed by a board of directors. The board's primary mission is to ensure the integrity of the study process. The board has no agenda, bias or ownership.

The study process is structured to ensure a safe setting for any and every resident to participate in any or all of the following:

  • Determining which community issues to take on.
  • Expressing personal conviction on selected issues.
  • Listening to all input from other residents.
  • Seeking accurate information about the issues through solid research.
  • Gathering input from experts in the field.
  • Seeking solutions by reaching a consensus.
  • Advocating recommendations to appropriate decision-making entities.


Community Council grew out of a series of community forums held during 2006 and 2007. The forums reflected a desire to develop a process through which to engage in regional conversations about growth and change across the boundaries of existing governmental and private entities. Called "Riding the Wave—Managing Community Change," the forums were moderated by Ben Warner, Deputy Director of the Jacksonville Community Council, a citizen group with over 35 years of cooperative problem solving experience in northern Florida.

At the third Riding the Wave forum in June 2007, participants formed a founding board encompassing Columbia and Walla Walla counties and the Milton-Freewater area.

At the fourth forum, in November 2007, the founding board developed a board of directors to engage residents in a recurring cycle of community discussion, research, consensus, advocacy and measurement of progress.

Make a Change