Decatur 101

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A Great Way to Get to Know Your City


Annual Class Develops Informed and Involved Citizens

Decatur 101, a program designed to develop informed and involved citizens, is held in late February – early April every year.  Classes run for seven weeks. During six of the classes participants learn how the City of Decatur works, who does what, and how they can make a difference.  The 7th class is presented by City Schools of Decatur. 

The program also includes a Smart Growth Walking Tour for both classes on one Saturday in March. Classes are held on Thursdays in various city buildings and the school session is held in one of the school facilities.

Topics covered by the city include history, development, budget, police and fire, emergency management, personnel, volunteer opportunities, quality of life, active living, and more.

The morning class is 10 a.m.-noon and the evening class is 7-9 p.m., with tours of various city buildings at 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. The program is free and open to the first 40 applicants.

If you are interested in the current class or would like to be wait-listed for next year, email or call 678-553-6512. Be sure to include your mailing address along with your name, phone number, email address, and preference of morning or evening class.

Class outline
2018 AM Class Schedule
2018 PM Class Schedule
Decatur 101 graduates
What participants say

Decatur 101 Graduates

 2017 morning thumb

2017 evening thumb
2016 morning thumb
2016 evening thumb
 2017 Morning Class 2017 Evening Class  2016 Morning Class 2016 Evening Class 
2015 morning thumb    2015 evening thumb  2014 morning thumb  2014 evening thumb
2015 Morning Class 2015 Evening Class 2014 Morning Class  2014 Evening Class
 2013 morning thumb 2013 class  2012 morning thumb  2012 evening thumb
 2013 Morning Class  2013 Evening Class  2012 Morning Class  2012 Evening Class
 2011 morning thumb    2011 evening thumb  2010 morning thumb  2010 evening thumb
 2011 Morning Class  2011 Evening Class  2010 Morning Class  2010 Evening Class
 2009 morning thumb    2009 evening thumb  2008 morning thumb  2008 evening thumb
 2009 Morning Class  2009 Evening Class  2008 Morning Class  2008 Evening Class
 2007 morning thumb    2007 evening thumb  2006 morning thumb  2006 evening thumb
 2007 Morning Class  2007 Evening Class  2006 Morning Class  2006 Evening Class

 d101grads_2005tn d101grads_2004tn   d101grads_2003tn
 2005  2004  2003
 d101grads_2002tn  d101grads_2001tn  d101grads_2000tn2
 2002  2001  2000

Class Outline

Classes are held on Thursdays and consist of seven two-hour classes – one in the morning from 10 a.m. – 12 noon and one in the evening 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.  Six classes focus on specific areas of government and one class focuses on City Schools of Decatur.  Sessions are conducted in various city buildings including the police department, public works, city hall and recreation center.  Classes are limited to 40 participants.

About Decatur
Welcome from the Mayor, introductions/overview, history of the city, form of government, role of the city manager, city limits, logo and branding, and discussion of scavenger hunt answers. 

Planning & Economic Development

Discussion about Decatur’s “gradual” vs “overnight” success, the importance and value of plans and public process, bond projects and capital planning, overview of volunteer boards and commissions including the Decatur Downtown Development Authority, Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, Historic Preservation Commission, and  Decatur Housing Authority.

Emergency Management, Police & Fire

Overview of police, fire and emergency management, and special events/film permits.  Interactive session ties all of these together.   

Administrative Services

Vision Based Budgeting, taxes, millage rates, revenue, accounting, personnel, surveys, performance measurements – all of the “behind the scenes” work that ensures the city runs smoothly.  Interactive 100 Pennies Budget Exercise.

Public Works

Find out the ins and outs of public works including sanitation, recycling, permits, stormwater, traffic calming, trees, and more.  Interactive sessions include “speed dating” with Design, Environment & Construction and help create solutions to “real life” issues in public works.

Quality of Life

Hear about Active Living, Children & Youth Services, Lifelong Community and Better Together Community Action Plan for Equity, Inclusion and Engagement.  Create your six word story about Decatur. 

City Schools of Decatur

City Schools of Decatur plans, implements and hosts this session. 


In the years Decatur 101 classes have been offered, many graduates have:

  • Run for office
  • Served on volunteer boards and commissions
  • Volunteered to help with festivals and other local events and activities
  • Activated a neighborhood organization complete with newsletter and website
  • Helped with subsequent Decatur 101 classes
  • Participated in the Citizens Public Safety Academy
  • Participated in budget focus groups
  • Participated in the strategic planning process as participants and facilitators
  • And much, much more

Next Class
Decatur 101 classes begin in late February and run through early April. If you would like to attend, or have questions, contact:

Linda Harris
Chief, Civic Engagement, Education & Communication
City of Decatur, Georgia
P.O. Box 220, Decatur GA 30031

What Participants Say
Here's what Decatur 101 graduates say about their experiences in the program: "The most fun I have had in a learning environment since my second year of law school." . . . "We now know the city listens as well as how to make our voices heard." . . . "Thank you for quality city leadership and a quality course." . . . "Every city should have this kind of program." . . . "Decatur 101 exceeded my expectations. I will include it on my resume." . . . "It was awesome. It makes it a lot easier to write that tax check."

Decatur 101 Encore

Decatur 101 Encore are special classes held in the fall and open to any graduate of any Decatur 101 class.  Topics delve deeper into issues or cover new information, departments, activities created after the Decatur 101 classes ended.

Decatur 101 Encore was created as a result of multiple evaluations stating that participants wanted a chance to learn more about issues that there wasn’t time to cover in the general classes and a chance to interact with other Decatur 101 graduates.

For information about Decatur 101 Encore contact Linda Harris, 678-553-6512,   

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