People's Academy for Community Engagement


Have you ever felt confused or frustrated when trying to engage with local government? Do you want to have relationships with the people in local government that can help progress your community goals? Would you like to know how to better serve your community through civic engagement, but aren't sure where to start?

These are very common experiences, and PACE is here to support you!  You will be a part of a class of 25-30 community members who are invested in their communities and want to learn more about local government. 

We partner with community-based organizations to co-host PACE sessions. Partner organizations support are expected to assist with participant recruitment, provide suggestions for relevant community guest speakers, and provide staff to attend and co-facilitate sessions. Additionally, if participant stipends are provided, partner organizations will be responsible for dispersing these.  

As a PACE graduate, you'll join a growing network of civic leaders from diverse backgrounds who are working in their communities to affect change. 


  • Emerging leaders who are invested in their communities and want to learn more about local government.  
  • Any individuals who are interested in participating in the next PACE cohort with our community-based partner(s).
  • Organizations who are interested in co-hosting a PACE cohort may reach email We partner with community organizations that support historically marginalized communities around a wide variety of topics, including affordable housing, access to culturally relevant healthcare, grantmaking, and networking. 

People of color are highly encouraged to apply.    

"As someone who was volunteering in the community and who is exploring ways to become more active in affecting change beyond direct volunteer action, PACE has given me exactly what I've been looking for so far: an understanding of the options and approaches I can take back to the community organizations I belong to and ask what opportunities they have for me there, e.g. being a unified cohort to approach councilmembers to advocate for issues in the community." 

-2019 Winter Cohort member


PACE aims to train and support you in three main ways: 

Meaningful Networking

  • Build connections with other community activists and leaders
  • Share resources and events within the cohort
  • Meet and build relationships with City elected officials and staff  

Education to Help Understand Local Government

Learn about...

  • The City of Seattle's organizational structure
  • The City of Seattle's budget process
  • How the Council and Mayor work together
  • How to speak at Council hearings
  • Racism in Seattle's history and how it shapes current policies
  • Intersections of land use, colonization, and equitable development
  • How to effectively navigate a bureaucracy  
  • Skills for Relationship Building

Learn How to Connect with and Influence Local Decision Makers

  • Practice community organizing strategies
  • Learn how to build relationships with local media
  • Practice strategies for skillful engagement in conflict 

"It is very interesting to know about this country. It makes me feel that I will become a good citizen. I think I know more about the government and how it works than I used to know in my country."

- 2019 Winter Cohort member 


For more information and questions, please contact


Jenifer Chao, Director
Address: 600 4th Avenue, 4th Floor, Seattle, WA , 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94649, Seattle, WA, 98124-4649
Phone: (206) 684-0464
Fax: (206) 233-5142

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Seattle Department of Neighborhoods provides resources and opportunities for community members to build strong communities and improve their quality of life.