Applications are available for the city's Civic Leadership Academy (CLA), a free 10-week course designed to educate residents about local government in the City of Pittsburgh.
"This unique program provides residents the opportunity to learn how their local government operates to improve their communities," said Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. "To date, over 75 residents have successfully graduated from CLA, each with a renewed commitment to becoming more informed, effective community and municipal leaders."
Beginning March 14, and ending May 16, 20 participants will attend 10 weekly sessions on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8:30 p.m. to learn how different city departments work to ensure a safer, more livable city. Session topics include city organization and vision; budgeting processes; city planning and economic development; public works and parks services; the protection of water and rivers; public safety efforts, and more.
City directors will develop their sessions to include tours, hands-on demonstrations and fun activities to provide an up-close and personal view of how their department helps to operate the city. At the conclusion of the course, the mayor will lead a graduation ceremony where participants will be awarded certificates. Within six months of the graduation ceremony, students are expected to use the knowledge gained to address a need in the City of Pittsburgh and complete a project within a community.
So far, three classes totaling 77 residents have graduated from the Civic Leadership Academy. The inaugural Youth Civic Leadership Academy graduated in August 2011 and revitalized a parklet in East Carnegie. Other projects by CLA graduates have included planting native plants at the Larimer Community Garden, launching a recycling awareness campaign at community festivals across the City, and supporting the Urban Redevelopment Authority's efforts to improve neighborhood business districts.
Applicants to the program must be at least 18 years old and live within Pittsburgh city limits and/or be a business owner who operates within Pittsburgh city limits. Applications are due by 5 p.m ., February 8. For more information and to apply for the Civic Leadership Academy visit cla.pittsburghpa.gov.
The Civic Leadership Academy is supported in part by Corporation for National and Community Service and AmeriCorps VISTA program.