Become a Civic Leader

Thomas O'Neill III, Peoria County Board

As the summer winds down, that always means another school year is fast approaching. Fall schedules can become increasingly hectic. In this ever-changing, fast-paced world, we sometimes struggle to find time to become actively involved in our community.

However, with just a few hours a week, citizens who participate in the Peoria City/County Citizens Leadership Academy program will develop a stronger commitment to their local government and increase their understanding of our civic processes. Communities need strong civic leaders; true leaders who are able to rise above the status quo and demonstrate initiative within their communities. Whether it's deciding to run for an elected position or simply voicing an opinion at public meetings, civic leadership begins at any point. Get involved, and you are already a civic leader.

Each fall, Peoria County and the City of Peoria offer citizens a unique opportunity to learn about municipal and county government through a joint curriculum. The Citizens Leadership Academy program is open to Peoria County residents. Participants will learn functions of both units of government through hands-on activities, facility tours, and open discussions with elected and appointed officials.

Those participating in the Citizens Leadership Academy will gain a greater understanding of local government by experiencing firsthand the role it has in our community. Taught by elected and appointed leaders, the program offers participants behind-the-scenes access to local government. Those who take the course will share opinions, build partnerships and develop tools to equip them with the proper knowledge to lead in their local communities.

During the two-month course, participants will learn about specific civic processes through practical applications. In one session, they may participate in in-depth discussions on public safety. Still another week, participants will have the chance to tour local government buildings. Every other session will focus on a municipal function, with the opposite sessions focusing on a county function.

Distinguish yourself in the community by becoming a civic leader. You will develop an increased commitment to your community and be inspired to take on a more active role in guiding future policy decisions at the local level. For course times and meeting locations, call 495-4862 or visit peoriacounty.org/communications/civic. iBi

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