Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs launches Civic Academy


Nearly 20 residents joined the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs Civic Academy. The Civic Academy welcomes Fresno constituents to enroll in four in-person sessions to learn about the city’s government structure and have a close-up look into municipal departments.

“The Mayor’s Civic Academy takes to heart our city’s mission of an inclusive city. We want our constituents to have a personal connection to what happens at City Hall and the academy does just that,” shared Mayor Jerry Dyer.

The Civic Academy is a prime engagement tool for the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs (OCA) which is under the purview of Deputy Mayor Matthew Grundy. “Certainly, the Civic Academy speaks to the heart of the OCA’s mission. We strive to be a government that is responsive to all our diverse communities’ needs and one of those needs is to be informed and active in what happens at City Hall,” said Deputy Mayor Grundy.

OCA Civic Academy as an engagement springboard
The goal of the Civic Academy is to provide residents with the tools they need to be active constituents in the legislative process. In addition to learning how city government functions, residents will learn how to identify and engage their elected officials, locate, and understand Council agendas and participate in public comment periods, forums and municipal engagement opportunities.

The foundational knowledge that the OCA Civic Academy provides will equip resident participants to take on leadership roles including municipal boards and commissions. “We are providing our participating community members with the information they need to feel empowered to lead in their neighborhoods and in our city,” said Sandra Lee, OCA’s Asian Pacific Islander liaison.

Resident engagement at City Hall is key

The first Civic Academy session kicked off at Fresno City Hall Chambers. Residents learned about California’s several municipal government styles, including an in depth look at Fresno’s strong mayor structure. “We want residents know how our city government works and that their participation and voice is key for a more prosperous city,” said OCA’s BIPOC liaison, Pastor BT Lewis, II.

In the upcoming three in-person sessions, OCA Civic Academy residents will meet with city department directors and leads for Economic Development, Planning and Development, Public Works, Public Utilities, and Fresno Police and Fire departments. The final session will feature a graduation ceremony.

Rosa Rodriguez lives in Fresno’s District 7 and is a participant of the OCA’s inaugural class. “I want to thank everyone who collaborates to make this very interesting program. It helps us to better know our city officials. We look forward to the next session!” said Rodriguez.

Future participation opportunities

The OCA will hold future Civic Academy classes. For residents who are interested in participating in future cohort opportunities, please reach out to the Office of Community Affairs at (559) 621-7923.