The Davenport Citizens Academy – the city’s 10-week program designed to better connect citizens to their local government – made a big impression on Jeff Bloemker last year.
“It was a real blast for me to see how things work behind the curtain,” said Mr. Bloemker, a member of the commercial lending team at Northwest Bank & Trust in Davenport, who attended last year’s academy.
He added that one of his most memorable experiences of the academy was visiting the evidence room of the Davenport Police Department. “You will see a lot of wild things there,” he said.
Mr. Bloemker added that the people attending the academy will get a better understanding and appreciation of how city government works, and how hard city employees work.
“They are really dedicated people. … They want to make Davenport the best place on the planet to live,” he said.
Other residents can soon get a chance to see how their city government works. Applications are now being accepted for the 2023 Davenport Citizens Academy.
The program offers residents an up-close introduction to the workings of the city and its various departments. Some of the sessions during the 10 weeks will include: an introduction to government; introduction to public safety; police and community; inside the firehouse; city hall; and the library.
The academy sessions will be held 6-8:30 p.m. Mondays, starting March 27.
“DavenportU Citizens Academy is a great program for residents who are interested in how their local government operates. It’s a fantastic way to learn about the budget, public safety, and how our City departments provide support to the community,” said Mayor Mike Matson in a news release.
The Monday sessions will begin on March 27 with an introduction to city government, and conclude with graduation at the May 24 Davenport City Council meeting. In between, participants will learn the basics of city government as well as community development processes, community policing, and budget planning.
Applications for the 2023 academy will be accepted online here through Feb. 24. Enrollment is limited and participants must be 18 years of age or older. Attendance to all 10 sessions is highly encouraged, according to information on the city’s website.
Launched in 2016, this will mark the seventh cohort for the city-run academy. The 2020 session was canceled by COVID-19. In 2021, the academy shifted into a virtual program showcasing eight videos through the city’s website.
Online applications for the academy now are being accepted at davenportiowa.com/citizensacademy. There is no cost to participate.