Release Date: June 23,2021

Mayor Horrigan Opens Applications for Fifth Annual Mayor’s Citizens Institute

Unique civic learning opportunity will return to in-person format for 2021

 Akron, Ohio, June 23, 2021 — Every year since 2017, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan has welcomed Akron citizens to learn more about their local government through the City of Akron Mayor’s Citizens Institute—a free, 10-week program designed to provide Akron residents with an inside view of City operations. Today, Mayor Horrigan has opened applications for the 2021 Mayor’s Citizens Institute class, which will be held from late August through November 2021.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan shared his excitement for the 2021 Institute, saying, “Each year, our Mayor’s Citizens Institute members have the opportunity to participate in a distinctly-Akron experience by learning about how the City runs and how they can play a role in our processes. In turn, we at the City get to learn more about our citizens’ interests and priorities.  Some of our Institute graduates have gone on to serve on City boards and commissions or lead new initiatives in their neighborhood.  It is a worthwhile program for both our City leaders and our residents and I look forward to getting to know the next class.”

Modeled after best practices in other thriving cities, the Mayor’s Citizens Institute is a free, 10-week civic learning experience in which a group of approximately 25 Akron residents will meet once a week in the evenings, to engage with City departments and leaders. Participants will be diverse and interested in finding out how their local government works and in turn, how they can help Akron grow and succeed. 

Last year, class size was limited and most of the program was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With health mandates being lifted and COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations falling, the City will once again return to a traditional setup with a full class size and in-person meetings. 

Attendees will learn about available city programs and services, meet city staff, and experience mock decision-making processes. They will engage in discussions about the City’s charter form of government, its responsibilities and duties, and its accountability to the public. By engaging with a diverse group of Akron citizens, the City hopes to foster pride, progress and partnerships within the community. The Institute intends to spark an interest in public service, increase citizen engagement in City events and processes, give citizens a voice in their community, and further educate participants in their knowledge of the City of Akron.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and current residents of Akron.  Applications for the 2021 Mayor’s Citizens Institute are due on or before July 19, 2021. The application, a description of the program and schedule of program dates are available at www.akronohio.gov/MCI

The Mayor’s Citizens Institute is made possible through the support and partnership of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Leadership Akron. Individuals with questions about the program or the application process should contact the program coordinator, Summer Hall, at 330-375-2133 or Mayor@akronohio.gov.