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What is the Citizens Institute?

This Citizen's Institute consists of seven evening and one Saturday morning sessions in which citizens:

  • Learn first-hand how the City works
  • Meet and get to know their neighbors, City officials, and City employees
  • Gain an improved awareness of available City services and community resources
  • Discover opportunities to be involved with their local government

Cost is $25, payable first day of class.

Who participates?

Anyone who lives or works in Walnut Creek (including unincorporated Walnut Creek) and has an interest in local government is invited to sign up for the Institute. Classes are designed for 30-35 students to encourage discussion, involvement, and interaction. The classes are popular and usually fill up fast!

Please check back in July of 2018 when enrollment for the next Citizens Institute opens.



What Topics Are Covered?

Here is a typical curriculum. (Keep in mind that the order of topics, or the topics themselves, are subject to change.)

Understanding the Big Picture
Meet the Mayor and City Manager 
Explore the role of government and what it means to all of us
Learn how the City Council, Commissions and advisory Committees work together

Money Matters: The Scoop on City Finances
Learn where the City gets its money and where the money goes

Enjoying Yourself in Walnut Creek
Learn about services that enhance quality of life
Take a backstage tour of the Dean Lesher Regional Center For The Arts
Visit the Bedford Gallery

Evolution of a City: The Role of Community & Economic Development
Hear how planning decisions made in the past created the City as it is today, and where we hope to take Walnut Creek in the future

Getting to Know the WCPD 
Tour the Walnut Creek Police Department

Getting from here to there: Traffic, transit and parking in Walnut Creek 
See a demonstration of the high-tech Traffic Signal Master
Learn the principles of parking inventory management
Get updates on transit and traffic programs, from the Free Ride Trolley to the Bicycle Master Plan

Keeping Things Running Smoothly: The Role of Public Works
Tour the Public Works Corporation Yard
Learn about the wide array of Public Works functions, from managing parks to keeping streets repaired

Neighborhood Showcase/Bus Tour & Graduation Celebration
Final class meets 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Share your knowledge and “tour-guide” skills while describing the history & highlights of your neighborhood. Learn about all the diverse neighborhoods in Walnut Creek. Enjoy Graduation Celebration - food, party, and conversation!