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Mayor Horrigan Announces Inaugural Citizens Institute to Give Akron Residents an Inside View of City Government


City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Ellen Lander Nischt, Press Secretary
Published: 07-20-2017

Akron, Ohio, July 20, 2017 — The City of Akron is committed to directly empowering residents and educating the public about how their city government works for them. That’s why Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan is proud to announce that applications are now being accepted for the inaugural class of the City of Akron Citizens Institute. The Citizens Institute will provide Akron residents with an opportunity to gain an inside view of the operations of City government while engaging directly with City of Akron leaders.

“If residents don’t know or understand what is going on in the halls of their government, it can leave them feeling disconnected and disheartened,” Mayor Horrigan said of the inspiration for this program. “It’s our responsibility as government officials to engage residents by inviting them to the table, educating them about our rules and processes, and empowering them to give feedback.”

Mayor Horrigan asked his staff to design a diverse City-government curriculum and turn City Hall into a “community classroom” where residents can learn and ask questions of City leaders, department directors, and front-line staff.

The City of Akron Citizens Institute will be a free, 10-week experience in which a group of approximately 25 Akron residents will meet once a week to engage with City departments and leaders and learn more about city programs and services.  Residents will engage in discussions about the City’s charter form of government, its responsibilities and duties, and its accountability to the public.

Applicants must be 18 years of age, or older, and must be current residents of Akron. The Institute will run from late August through early November, 2017. 

Program Dates: August 29 – November 2, 2017
Tuesday evening classes:  August 29th - October 24th
*One Saturday class - September 16th
*One Monday class - October 16th
Graduation will be held Thursday, November 2nd

The inaugural City of Akron Citizens Institute is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the OMNOVA Solutions Foundation. The City is partnering with Leadership Akron, who will serve as fiscal agent for the program.

“This program won’t be City leaders talking at residents, it will be a collaborative dialogue where both groups will learn from each other,” Mayor Horrigan said of his goals for the experience. “As leaders, we thrive on public feedback and need our citizens to be informed and engaged in order for us to serve them effectively. It is my hope that this pilot program will be successful and that we will be able to offer it to additional classes for years to come.”

Applications are available here, and are due on or before August 15, 2017.

Individuals with questions about the program or the application process should contact Christine Curry, Director of Communications at (330) 375-2209 or [email protected]. Media inquiries should be directed to Ellen Lander Nischt, Press Secretary/ Assistant Director of Law at (330) 375-2325 or [email protected].



For further information, contact:
Ellen Lander Nischt
Press Secretary / Assistant Director of Law
166 South High Street
Suite 200
Akron, Ohio 44308
Phone: (330) 375-2325
E-mail: [email protected]

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