The TPB is seeking community leaders from across the Washington area to participate in the sixteenth Community Leadership Institute.
The Community Leadership Institute, or CLI, is a free program designed by TPB staff to engage participants (community leaders) in discussions about transportation planning in the Washington region. Through role-playing and mapping activities, CLI participants learn about how transportation projects are planned, funded, and implemented.
Former TPB Chair Kathy Porter — who is also a former member of the WMATA Board of Directors and former Mayor of Takoma Park, Maryland — has moderated the CLI since 2008. She has seen many participants over the years. “They become immersed in the role play and in the tabletop exercises about planning and funding transportation infrastructure and operations, “she said. Working together to solve similar challenges, she’s seen participants find common ground across jurisdictional lines. “I have seen good discussions among participants from different states and localities as they discover how points of view vary between jurisdictions.”
One goal of the CLI is to empower community leaders by helping them learn about the transportation planning process. Understanding the process helps community leaders understand where and when their input can have the biggest impact.
Nancy Abeles, a CLI alumna and current member of the TPB Citizens Advisory Committee, said that when she signed up for the institute she was hoping to learn how to navigate an adversarial planning process. Instead, she learned through role-playing, “that it’s better for all stakeholders to work together, rather than in opposition.”
Porter says, “My hope is that this will lead to more educated public discussions about future transportation options.”
CLI got its start in 2006 as a way to help leaders connect the interests of local communities and the organizations they serve with the challenges facing the entire metropolitan area. In that time, more than 300 people have participated, including elected officials.
The spring 2019 CLI will be held on the evenings of April 18, 25, and May 2 at the COG offices in downtown D.C. Statements of Interests can be submitted at mwcog.org/CLI through March 22.
Bryan Hayes is a TPB Transportation Planner. He staffs the TPB’s Citizens Advisory Committee and works on the TPB’s public participation activities.