If you’re curious as to how the Cities of Lewiston and Auburn operate, then LA 101 may be for you. If you’re a curious resident with a desire to learn and engage, LA 101 is definitely for you!
Lewiston/Auburn 101 is a 10-week exploration with participants visiting various municipal departments in Lewiston and Auburn and engaging with municipal staff and officials. The 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. weekly sessions commence on February 29 and run through May 2.
The program is sponsored by The League of Young Voters Education Fund in partnership with the Twin Cities. Nicola Wells, executive director of the League, will serve as facilitator. “Over the last year, the Maine League of Young Voters Education Fund has met with countless young people in the Lewiston/Auburn area and asked them what we could do to help achieve their goals for the community,” Wells said. “An overwhelming majority of residents said that they wanted an opportunity to better understand how municipal government works and the mechanisms available to them to get involved.”
Lewiston Mayor Robert E. Macdonald is very enthusiastic about the various sessions. “LA 101 is indeed an exciting opportunity for residents to learn more about the operations of municipal government,” he said. “From what they experience, it is my hope that they will become more engaged within the community in an effort to make it an even better place in which to live, work, play, and raise a family. Our community has many positives, and LA 101 provides an interactive way for us to highlight both our present and vision for the future.”
Auburn Mayor Jonathan LaBonté concurs. “Lewiston-Auburn is a community on the rise in northern New England, and this transition means involvement of all citizens is critical to setting a path and helping us stay on it,” he said. “It is exciting to see the League of Young Voters offer this intensive training on how Lewiston-Auburn operate as cities, and I strongly encourage younger community members to get involved and sign up.”
Those interested in joining the LA 101 experience may contact Wells at Nicola@youngvoter.org for an application. Applications are due by February 27, along with a $15 fee to cover each participant’s supplies. Scholarships are available should there be a need.
Wells, who is eager to begin the 10-week journey with L-A residents, echoes the sentiments of both mayors. “We believe that Lewiston/Auburn 101 will be a critical next step in getting more people involved in the day- to-day municipal happenings, running for office, serving on city committees and boards, and enriching our cities for years to come.”
The 10-week schedule for LA 101 is:
February 29: Introduction & Training.
March 7. City Council & City Administration.
March 14. Police Department.
March 21. Economic Development and Zoning.
March 28. Civic Leadership Training with Institute for Civic Leadership.
April 4. How To: Letters to the Editor; Speaking at City Hall and More!
April 11. Social Services.
April 18. Public School System.
April 25. Public Works.
May 2. Evaluation.
The 10-week educational format has also been used within the City of Portland and was widely embraced.