People who live or work in Bellevue and are interested in delving deeper into the structure and operations of city government have until July 18 to apply for the second annual Bellevue Essentials class. The course is an opportunity for participants to learn from key staff, neighborhood leaders, decision makers, elected officials and community leaders.
Bellevue Essentials classes begin September 18, with eight weekly Thursday evening sessions and one Saturday tour day. The course provides an overview of Bellevue city government, offering an avenue for emerging leaders who may want to step into broader public service. No prior leadership experience is necessary to participate.
Class size will be limited to 30 participants to ensure a quality experience. Applicants will be notified by August 8 about whether they have been accepted.
Mayor Claudia Balducci said that "Bellevue Essentials will introduce you to the behind-the-scenes work done at the city and will help you understand how local government works." Kevin Chen, who graduated from the class in 2013, said "the Bellevue Essentials experience helped me explore a different facet of leadership.” Another graduate, Judy Faast, said the experience "transformed me from being an observer to being a participant."
Session topics will include history and demographics, neighborhoods, parks and community services, planning, budget, transportation, arts, environmental stewardship, utilities and economic development. A variety of learning tools, including speakers, panels, interactive exercises, site visits and networking opportunities create a dynamic learning environment.
Bellevue Essentials organizers are seeking participants with diverse interests and backgrounds. The 2013 class ranged in age from 17 to 70-plus, and included participants from across the city and a variety of ethnicities. The course is open to anyone who lives or works in Bellevue, but preference will be given to residents. Applicants will be accepted based on the following criteria: identification as emerging leaders, geographic diversity and a short essay on personal goals of participation in program.
The course tuition is $95, with financial assistance available. Tuition includes all classes, materials and a light meal at each session. For more information or to request a brochure and a simple one-page application, please contact Julie Ellenhorn, Neighborhood Outreach, 425-452-5372 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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