Applications are now open for A Citizen’s Experience, a new initiative from the city of Birmingham designed to promote civic engagement. The free, seven-week program is slated to begin in June and is open only to Birmingham residents who are 18 years old or older.
The program was first announced at Mayor Randall Woodfin’s “Big Picture” presentation last month. Woodfin told attendees that ACE was intended to combat apathy from citizens who felt alienated by the bureaucracy of City Hall.
“This is about your experience,” he said. “It’s a citizenwide leadership initiative to bring people into a deeper dialogue, a deeper connection to (Birmingham). We want you to be able to understand the civics of government, the A through Zs … We want to encourage you all to be on the solutions end.”
In a press release Thursday, Woodfin characterized ACE as aiming to “demystify government, increase civic literacy and allow Birmingham residents to directly engage with their local municipal leaders.” The program would include “a variety of interactive and educational opportunities” focusing on Birmingham history, public safety strategies, infrastructure, leadership opportunities and neighborhood revitalization, among other topics.
Applications for the program will be open until April 29; those who are selected will be notified on May 20. The program itself will begin June 6; dates for subsequent events have not yet been released. Applications are available through the city’s website, the Office of Public Information at City Hall and at all branches of the Birmingham Public Library.