Community Issues

Be a Government Insider: Join the Civic Leadership Academy

They're not promising you'll get your potholes filled faster or snow plowed sooner. But in 11 weeks you'll learn stuff about city government that may surprise you


Want to get the inside track on what's going on in the city? Pittsburgh's Civic Leadership Academy wants you, but you've got to act fast if you want to be in the spring session.

The application deadline is close of business Friday.

  • What: The CLA is a free, 11-week course that encourages more informed, effective and inspired community and civic leadership by giving City residents an opportunity to learn about their local government.
  • Who: Applications are open to anyone who lives in, or owns and operates a business, within the City of Pittsburgh limits.
  • When: The upcoming spring session runs March 27-June 5. Sessions meet Wednesdays from 6-8:30pm.
  • Where: Each class meets with over 15 departments, offices, bureaus and authorities of the City of Pittsburgh to learn about their operations, programs and services. Sessions are usually at the City-County Building downtown, but the program includes off-site tours, hands-on demonstrations, and informational activities that give participants an insider view of how the City of Pittsburgh operates.
  • Why: This one's easy, says Leah Friedman from the city's Office of Community Affairs. "We want to help city residents connect with their local governments, and for neighborhood and community leaders to know more about city government so they can improve their own communities."

Past participants say it was a great experience.

"It is amazing to have the chance to meet in person with those people behind the walls of local governance." Felimelia Abenes-Douglass, Shadyside

You can apply by clicking here , although be warned if you have a pop-up blocker you'll have to disable it to get into the application. Only 40 applicants are accepted per cohort session. The next cohort is scheduled for the fall, but Friedman says they're considering adding a summer session, so sign up for their e-mail list for notifications. You can also get in touch with Leah at 412-255-4773 or leah.friedman@pittsburghpa.gov .

"An experience that will never be forgotten. I would recommend this class to anyone." Carolyn Peeks, Larimer

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