Citizen Academy 2

Brent Finnegan -- June 26th, 2007

In November I wrote about the city’s Citizen Academy, which is where I met Kai, David Miller, Thanh, Josh, and a number of other hburgnews readers. The city just announced that they’re taking applications for this year’s class, which runs from August to November. If you have any interest in how the city works, local government, civics, or if you just want to know who to call and complain to if something goes wrong in your neighborhood, I recommend it.

And, yes, I do think their webpage should have the whole Police Academy 2 theme going on.

10 Responses to “Citizen Academy 2”

  1. zen says:

    Any idea if Staunton offers something like this? Of course I could go looking, but asking the brain-trust seems like a good first step.

  2. finnegan says:

    If there is one in Staunton (or Waynesboro or Winchester) I don’t know about it. I think this thing is the brainchild of Miriam, the city’s information officer.

  3. Miriam says:

    Thanks for the confidence & enthusiastic recommendation Brent, but I can’t claim to be the brains behind Citizen Academies in the world. There are many localitities who offer similar programs. So many that it is hard to determine who offered the first. In fact, when I floated the idea to my boss almost three years ago, I found out that he had wanted to have an academy for years but hadn’t had staffing to make it happen.

    As far as I know, we are the only current program in the our immediate vicinity, but I know there are other sessions in Virginia (Lynchburg, Alexandria etc.)

    In Staunton, the director of Customer Relations is Doug Cochran, the number there is 332-3838, or you can email him from the Staunton City Homepage. He will know if such a program is available.

  4. Miriam,

    I miss you on the radio.

  5. Josh says:

    Here’s a recent article about the Blacksburg Citizens Institute; they’ve been running their program for 3-4 years now.

    Blacksburg course trains citizens
    Sunday, June 03, 2007

  6. zen says:

    Thanks Miriam for the contact info for Staunton. Also, for your efforts on this front in the community.

    I know the Staunton has a Citizen’s Police Academy, but it’s not quite the same as what’s being offered here.
    “Supports the Staunton Police Department by donating volunteer time and funds for unbudgeted items. Activities include fingerprinting children, updating business contact information and fundraising projects.”

  7. zen says:

    The word from Doug Cochran is that Staunton is in the R&D stages of putting together a program. Let’s hope it comes together and is as beneficial as Harrisonburg’s version.

  8. David Miller says:

    Josh, thanks for the link to Blacksburg’s Citizen’s Academy write-up. I found this quote to be most poignant.

    “The goal of the class is to produce informed citizens who can watch what government does and contribute intelligently to the public conversation. When people better understand everything that goes into running a town and share their knowledge with friends and family, everyone wins.”

  9. Thanh says:

    This article was published last week in the DNR following the first Citizen Academy session of the year.

    I encouage any, and all who are interested to consider participating in this session of classes next year. You’ll definately learn a lot of neat things about the City.

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