When our forefathers drafted the California Constitution in 1849, they included a requirement that “One or more grand juries shall be drawn and summoned at least once a year in each county.” Today, California is the last state still to have a comprehensive standing civil grand jury system in place. 

On March 7, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors adopted a Gold Resolution proclaiming the month of March 2023 as “Sonoma County Civil Grand Jury Appreciation Month.” The mission of the Sonoma County Civil Grand Jury is to investigate the current procedures of local government—this includes all aspects of county and city governments, and special districts. Its work as a civic watchdog is an important part of our shared democracy. 

If you are able to serve a one-year term from July 1 to June 30, commit 10-15 hours a week for jury meetings and investigations, are a U.S. citizen, enjoy working with others and have basic computer skills, this may be the role for you. Applications are being accepted until April 17 online at sonoma.courts.ca.gov/general-information/grand-jury

Nancy Dougherty, former grand juror

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