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Local government is important. It impacts your daily life, from how much you pay in property taxes to how long you sit in traffic each day. And yet, following along with everything that happens at City Hall can be really hard… especially if you don’t really know how it all works. 


That’s where The Austin Common’s Local Government 101 program comes in! 


Local Government 101 is The Austin Common’s nonpartisan civics speaker series for businesses, nonprofits, and community organizations. It’s perfect for lunch & learns, happy hours, monthly meetups, volunteer onboarding, and team-bonding activities. Click here to book your Local Government 101 talk today

  • A copy of “A Beginner’s Guide To Local Government” for all event attendees – our zine (hand-drawn by local artists) that explains the basics of how Austin’s local government system works (and includes stickers!). 
  • A 30 minute – 1 hour interactive presentation about the basics of Austin’s local government system
  • The 3 things you need to know to get involved with local government 
    • Who is the mayor of Austin?
    • Who is your City Council member?
    • What does City Council do?
  • How did we get here? A brief history of Austin’s local government system 
  • How to get involved 
    • Top tips for becoming a more civically engaged resident of Austin – attend a City Council meeting, follow your Council member on social media, apply to serve on a city board/commission 
  • Elections 101 – Remind people about upcoming elections & share info about local races. (This Elections 101 section is optional & depends on the time of year.)

A Beginner's Guide To Local Government

A Beginner's Guide

All Local Government 101 attendees receive a copy of our “A Beginner’s Guide To Local Government” zine. It’s hand-drawn by local artists, explains the basics of how Austin’s government works, and comes with stickers! 


Want a copy of the zine? Invite us to give a Local Government 101 workshop at your organization or become a Common Club member (members at the Waterloo level and above get a copy of the zine in their welcome gift.) 


Have another idea about how we can collaborate to distribute the zine? Let us know!

Groups We've Worked With..

St. Edwards Students

St. Edward’s University. In this photo, students are showing off a city survey they all completed during our Local Government 101 workshop.

The University of Texas’ Hook The Vote student club. 

City Hall Field Trip

In a special Local Government 101 workshop, we brought UT students to City Hall to watch a real-live Council meeting. They had never been to City Hall before! 

New Leadership Texas

Our Editor-In-Chief served as a Faculty-In-Residence for the University of Texas’ New Leadership Texas program, which trains young women from across the state on how to become leaders in all levels of government. 

Hispanic Austin Leadership Program

We delivered a Local Government 101 for the Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Hispanic Austin Leadership program. 

Local Government 101 UFCU

We hosted a Local Government 101 workshop for UFCU employees, allowing them to share important civic information with their customers.