News Release: Leon County
In its continuous focus and commitment to engaging citizens, Leon County has formally partnered with Village Square to provide opportunities for greater social interaction between citizens and their County government. The partnership brings together the County’s nationally recognized Citizen Engagement Series and Village Square’s popular Our Town Series with a shared goal of engaging citizens through unique and meaningful programs.
The partnership builds upon the two successful series with the creation of a unique new program called the Club of Honest Citizens. The program blends the best elements of the Citizen Engagement Series and Our Town Series by providing transparency of County government while building relationships through social civic gatherings.
“The County Commission has been an active participant in both the Citizen Engagement Series and Village Square’s Our Town Series, so this partnership felt like a natural next step,” said Leon County Commission Chairman Kristin Dozier. “Now with the Club of Honest Citizens, we’re placing a greater emphasis on fostering events that encourage the exchange of ideas that create collaborative relationships between citizens, elected officials and staff.”
The Club of Honest Citizens is inspired by the Club of Honest Whigs, created by Benjamin Franklin prior to the American Revolution that encouraged vibrant discussion and debate on issues that led to ideas such as police, volunteer fire fighters and the first public library.
The Club of Honest Citizens will hold three events per year that engage citizens in provocative discussion on issues that impact the community. The theme of the inaugural year is “If government is the problem, what is the solution?” Each of the three events for this season will invite citizens to participate in discussions on local government’s role in shaping the community.
“The first year of the Club of Honest Citizens offers a rare opportunity for those who are looking to engage their elected leaders and neighbors in honest conversations on the issues of the day,” said Liz Joyner, Executive Director of Village Square. “I don’t think you’ll find anything like it anywhere else in America.”
The first event features a Pub Night at Madison Social on Thursday, March 27 at 5:30 p.m. Madison Social at College Town is located on 705 S. Woodward Ave. Discussions between citizens, County Commissioners and County staff will center on the proper role of government.
“It’s well documented that a sense of social attachment to your community is considered to be one of the best predictors of performance of public institutions, the economic success of communities and even well-being of individuals,” said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long. “The Club of Honest Citizens engages citizens in a new and meaningful way that is a stark contrast to three minutes at the podium at a Commission meeting.”
The Club of Honest Citizens is open to all Leon County residents. Those interested in the first and future Club of Honest Citizens events can register with Village Square at www.tallahassee.tothevillagesquare.org. Space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information, contact Liz Joyner at (850) 264-8785 / firstname.lastname@example.org or Shington Lamy at (850) 606-5300 / LamyS@LeonCountyFL.gov .