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COOS BAY – Community leaders — ranging from those interested in running for local office to individuals who simply see an area where they would like to help their community improve — will have an opportunity to learn how to enact change in their communities.

The Civic Engagement Project — delivered by Rural Development Initiatives, Inc., with generous support from The Ford Family Foundation — will be hosting a pilot offering of the “You Can Make Local Government Work for You” course series in October and November in the Coos Bay/North Bend area. These sessions kick off with a special event from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11, followed by sessions from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 12, Nov. 2 and Nov. 16. All three dates are Saturdays. The training sessions are designed to be collaborative and interactive, with a goal of inspiring community engagement and teaching participants how to help their communities accomplish important goals.

The first course covers “Understanding Local Government” to give participants a basic understanding of how local government works and how different organizations work together to serve communities. The second course is “Creating a Communications Plan,” which involves persuasively communicating about needs or projects participants wish to advocate for in their communities. The third course, “Taking Action,” covers the nuts and bolts of bringing a community project to fruition.

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The series provides an opportunity for individuals who want to help their communities build playgrounds, improve sidewalks, reduce class sizes, fix potholes or address a number of other community issues an opportunity to meet and learn with a group of like-minded individuals who care deeply about the towns and cities that they call home.

For more information or to sign up, those interested can go online to https://www.rdiinc.org/news/you_can_make_local_government_work_you or contact Rural Development Initiatives Policy and Partnerships Manager Jennifer Groth by calling 541-684-9077, Ext. 3, or emailing jgroth@rdiinc.org. The program is free and participation is by RSVP only.

Rural Development Initiatives is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen rural people, places and economies in the Pacific Northwest. RDI envisions rural communities that are strong and vibrant as a result of skilled, inclusive local leadership and robust community-led efforts. People in rural communities share a vision that fuels optimism and motivates positive action; they work collaboratively across their regions to achieve mutual benefit and promote diverse, resilient communities.

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