Main Hall, City County Building, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Matt0513’s photostream

PITTSBURGH, PA – Mayor William Peduto announced that applications for the spring 2014 Civic Leadership Academy (CLA) are now available. Pittsburgh residents and business owners are invited to apply to this free 10-week course to learn about City government. The CLA meets every Wednesday evening from March 26 to May 28, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Applications are available online at and must be submitted by March 7.

“By offering this class for citizens, we hope to grow a crop of civic-minded leaders who will step up to the plate and help create the Next Pittsburgh,” said Mayor Peduto. “The CLA is a win for the participants as well as the City. We are excited to continue the program this spring.”

Participants interact one-on-one with City department directors and staff members through tours, interactive presentations and hands-on demonstrations. Session topics include urban redevelopment processes, city planning and park services, protection of waterways and rivers, public safety efforts, and more. To date, the City has held seven classes with nearly 140 graduates.

Following the 10-week course, the civic leaders implement a service project. Previous classes have led river cleanups in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Water and Sewage authority, raised money for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, and planted native plants at the Larimer Community Garden.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old and live within City limits and/or be a business owner who operates within City limits. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 7. For more information and to apply, visit

CLA is supported, in part, by the Corporation for National and Community Service and AmeriCorps VISTA program. This is one of the initiatives from servePGH, an initiative of the City of Pittsburgh in partnership with the Cities of Service coalition.

Mayor Peduto joins more than 150 mayors from across the nation in continuing the tradition of impact volunteerism in their respective cities. By recently signing the Cities of Service Declaration of Service, Mayor Peduto commits to using citizen service in a meaningful way to help tackle some of Pittsburgh’s most pressing needs through volunteer-fueled programs, ranging from mentoring our City’s youth to revitalizing neighborhood blocks through the City’s servePGH initiative. Joining in 2009, Pittsburgh is one of the 17 founding cities to support this effort. The Peduto Administration looks forward to continuing this rich neighbors-helping-neighbors tradition.

ServePGH was launched in March 2011 to engage Pittsburgh’s citizens in service and answer President Obama’s national call to volunteerism. Through innovative servePGH initiatives, citizens have been engaged in volunteer-fueled solutions to revitalize City blocks, restore homes of vulnerable residents, help middle-school youth navigate life’s challenges, and more. Over 8,700 volunteers have committed nearly 57,000 hours of service through servePGH to date. Additional information is available at

The Civic Leadership Academy is supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service and AmeriCorps VISTA. AmeriCorps VISTA members commit to serve full-time for one year at a nonprofit organization or local government agency, working to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses and strengthen community groups, with the ultimate goal to eliminate poverty in the United States. In Pennsylvania, there are currently more than 200 VISTAs serving on 30 projects.