Want to learn about how city of Kent government works? Then city leaders and staff have just the class.
People can apply to be part of a six-week civics class called Kent 101. The free class will offer the opportunity to better understand how local government works through lectures and interactive activities and tours. The program will end with a graduation celebration and a certificate of completion at the March 17 Kent City Council meeting.
Classes start Feb. 5 and will meet every Wednesday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at City Hall. The final class is March 11.
Mayor Dana Ralph, about to complete her second year in office, came up with the idea.
“Kent 101 has been something the mayor has wanted to do since taking office,” said Dana Neuts, city public engagement coordinator, in an email. “She shared the idea in her State of the City address this year, and she is delivering on her promise to focus on community engagement through this program and other initiatives.”
“This program is perfect for high school students looking for career inspiration, college students who need more experience before joining the work force, working adults who want to have a stronger understanding about government work or retirees looking to be more involved in their community,” according to city staff.
The courses are designed to educate, inform and build experience for residents, businesses and students.
City staff broke down the benefits, objectives and how to apply for Kent 101:
• Meet local elected officials and city staff
• Learn how the city functions, what services are offered, what the different departments are and how everything is connected
• Become an active member of the Kent community
• Gain first-hand knowledge of how ideas move through City Hall and become implemented
• Have a better understanding of the city you live in
• Meet other residents and share ideas
• To actively involve and engage Kent residents and businesses to help them understand how city government works
• To improve communication with the city and those who live, work or go to school here
• To provide insight into how decisions are made, how city finances are managed and how city departments operate
• To empower more residents and businesses to become more engaged in city government and to become involved in making decisions that affect and improve Kent for all
How to apply
• Kent 101 is free and open to people ages 16 and older
• Must be a resident of the city or have a business located in the city
• Miss no more than one class session to graduate
• Complete and submit your application online by 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 5. Participants will be notified of their selection for the program by Jan. 15. The class is limited to 25 people.
Apply online at kentwa.gov/residents/application-for-kent-101.