Do you love Hillsboro and care about your community? Are you interested in giving back to the community and building leadership skills?
You’re invited to join Hillsboro’s Civic Leadership Academy! At the Academy, Hillsboro residents from all neighborhoods and backgrounds come together to research a topic of community importance, share their perspectives, and make recommendations to City Council. Last year’s Academy addressed the topic of how to foster a greater sense of community in Hillsboro.
Participants meet once a week for six weeks to discuss and research a community-focused topic, and learn about civic leadership and local government. Many go on to serve on City Boards and Commissions.
Academy members meet in a small group setting at the Civic Center in Downtown Hillsboro on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 8 pm. Portland State University’s Hatfield School of Government leads sessions with support from City staff.
At the end of the Academy, participants present their ideas and recommendations at a Tuesday evening City Council Meeting.
Dinner and child care are provided at no cost at all Academy sessions. Translation services will be available upon request.
As a member of the Civic Leadership Academy, you will:
- Participate in six weekly interactive workshops led by Portland State University’s Hatfield School of Government
- Engage in supported, collaborative, and hands-on research focused on a topic of community importance
- Meet new people and establish community connections
- Hear lightning talks from community leaders and local elected officials
- Develop your leadership skills and learn about new ways to be involved with the City
- Present recommendations to City Council
Applications for the 2020 Civic Leadership Academy will open in May. Please contact us and we will send you a reminder when the applications open.
Participants in the Civic Leadership Academy must live within the City of Hillsboro. Check your address with our Hillsboro Maps tool.
A selection committee that includes members of City Council and City staff will review the applications. Space is limited. Priority is given to candidates who are new to civic leadership. People of all personal and professional backgrounds, people of color, and people from historically underrepresented communities are encouraged to apply.
Topic: Balanced Housing
The first class of the Civic Leadership Academy presented recommendations that City Council is utilizing to evaluate housing options in our community and explore partnerships to support the development of affordable housing in Hillsboro.
Topic: Supporting Hillsboro Entrepreneurs
In 2017, Academy graduates identified existing partnership opportunities, space resources, educational opportunities, and makerspaces that support entrepreneurship within the community. In addition, the Academy recommended the creation of a startup incubator space and/or program in Hillsboro. They also suggested adding a staff position to coordinate partnerships that support entrepreneurs.
Topic: Fostering a Stronger Sense of Community in Hillsboro
2018 Academy graduates presented ideas for increasing community engagement, such the creation of a multi-language smartphone app, defining a common name for Hillsboro residents, and providing a “party-in-a-box” kit to support neighborhood get-togethers. The group also identified neighborhood identity and walkability challenges, as well as and language and technology barriers that Hillsboro residents face.
Topic: Enhancing Earthquake Preparedness
The 2019 Academy evaluated the community's disaster preparedness and identified earthquakes as the biggest disaster threat. The graduates urged the City and community members to raise earthquake awareness and make it easier for the most vulnerable to access the resources they need in advance. To boost resiliency, the Academy recommended a whole community approach to understand needs, empower all members of the community, and engage with individuals and groups to rely on each other.
Contact the Civic Leadership Academy
Email the Civic Leadership Academy to receive an alert when applications open, or for general questions and comments.