California’s protection & advocacy system

For legal assistance call 800-776-5746. For all other purposes call 916-504-5800 in Northern CA

or 213-213-8000 in Southern CA. TTY 800-719-5798.

Summary of frequently asked questions (FAQs)
about our Board of Directors

1. How many people serve on the Board of Directors?

13 - 17

2. Who appoints members of the Board?

The current Board of Directors appoints new members to the Board.

3. How long are the terms of each Board member appointment?

Each term is three years. Members may be re-appointed for a second term. Terms are staggered.

4. What are the eligibility requirements of Board positions?

In general, members of our Board of Directors reflect the diverse constituency served by DRC. We are mandated by federal acts to serve individuals with developmental, mental, physical, learning and sensory disabilities. Persons with disabilities, family members, attorneys, professionals, and providers are all represented on the Board. DRC is also committed to appointing members that represent California’s diverse ethnic and cultural communities. Every effort is made to ensure the Board reflects different geographic areas of the state.

5. What are Board members’ responsibilities?

The Board provides overall direction for DRC. Review the Board of Directors job description. Generally, the Board does its work through standing Committees. Each Board member serves on at least one Committee. Board members are also responsible for fundraising, participation in some outreach events, and recruiting new members. Committees include Finance, Legislation, Program and Planning, PAIMI Advisory Council, OCRA Advisory Committee, Nominating, and Fundraising. In addition, the Board officers serve on the Executive Committee. Learn about the Board Committees.

6. What is a Public Member?

Public members help ensure that Committees receive input from individuals that reflect California’s diverse ethnic, cultural, and disability communities. Public members serve as full members on their respective Committees. They receive all Committee materials and vote on matters that come before the Committee. They are reimbursed for their expenses in the same way that all Board members are reimbursed. Public members serve one – three year term.

7. What is the PAIMI Council?

The PAIMI Council advises the Board on policies and priorities regarding: services to persons with psychiatric disabilities; reviews PAIMI goals and priorities and assists in the annual PAIMI Program Performance Review process.

8. How many Board meetings are held each year, and where are they held?

There are four meetings held a year. They are held in different areas of the state to be more accessible to our constituents. Generally, meetings are held in Sacramento, the Greater Los Angeles area, the San Francisco Bay area, and San Diego.

9. How long are the meetings and what other time obligations are there?

Regular Board meetings are always on a Saturday, generally between 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Committees of the Board usually meet the day before the Board meeting. Board members usually serve on at least one Committee of the Board. Committees include Finance, Legislation, Program and Planning, PAIMI Advisory Council, OCRA Advisory Committee, Nominating, and Fundraising. In addition, the Board officers serve on the Executive Committee. Learn about the Board Committees. Additionally, Committees may periodically meet (in-person or via teleconference) outside of the regular quarterly Board and Committee meetings.

10. What about expenses for Board members?

All travel, room, and board expenses connected with the Board meeting are paid for by DRC. DRC also provides reasonable disability-related accommodations for Board members. Members are not paid an honorarium for their services.

11. Are there any prohibitions regarding appointments?

No person shall serve as a Director who (1) as a result of their employment or other activities impedes the Agency’s ability to be independent of any agency that provides treatment, services or habilitation to individuals with disabilities as required by federal law or (2) is an employee or contractor of the Agency.

Directors have a duty to disclose any actual or possible conflict of interest, including any transaction in which the Director has a material financial interest or a loyalty conflict of interest. The Director shall disclose the conflict prior to the Board taking action on the matter and the Director shall abstain from deliberating on and voting in any action which causes the conflict.  Directors shall also comply with the Agency’s conflict of interest policy.

If the Board has reasonable cause to believe a Director has failed to disclose actual or possible conflicts of interest it shall take appropriate disciplinary and corrective action.

12. How do I apply for a position on the Board?

You may apply at any time, regardless if there is a position open. Notices of vacancies are posted on our website and sent to numerous agencies on a regular basis. Please refer to "How to Apply" for instructions. In general, applications (or updates) are due three to four months prior to the position becoming vacant.

13. Where can I get more information?

Please feel free to contact us at 800-776-5746