(PITTSBURGH, PA) July 19, 2012 Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today announced that 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 Ravenstahl. "To date, 95 residents have successfully graduated from CLA, each with a renewed commitment to becoming more informed, effective community and municipal leaders."
Beginning September 12, and ending November 14, up to 25 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.
To date, five classes totaling 95 residents have graduated from the Civic Leadership Academy. The Youth Civic Leadership Academy for high school aged youth is currently underway. One hundred percent of graduates have a better understanding of the services that the City provides and how they can access them.
Darlene Yanakos, a graduate from the Fall 2011 session expressed that, “The departments who opened their doors to the academy were candid about their successes and failures, giving me a real sense of how the City truly operates for the betterment of its residents.”
At the end of each class, graduates undertake a service project based on what they have learned. Past 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, revitalizing a parklet in East Carnegie, supporting the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s efforts to improve neighborhood business districts, and beautifying Arsenal Park in Lawrenceville.
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. on Monday, August 13. 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. It is one of seven signature initiatives within Mayor Ravenstahl’s servePGH initiative.
ABOUT AMERICORPS VISTA
Mayor's Office of Service and Civic Engagement
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2280 | facsimile 412-255-2988