Santa Monica City Hall (File photo)

Stop sitting on the sidelines and get to know how your government works.

Santa Monica City Hall is encouraging residents to sign up for The People’s Academy, a behind-the-scenes look at local government operations, partnerships and innovations. It is a free course that mixes local government basics with information relevant in everyday life, city officials said.

Participants will meet with leaders from the city, school district and Santa Monica College to understand each organization’s core mission, how they achieve it and support each other. The police and fire chiefs will offer tips on how to stay safe and participants will tackle tough issues, such as land use and providing public transportation with limited funds.

Twenty spaces are available this spring. Residents and business owners who are wanting to get involved in their community are encouraged to apply at or by calling (310) 458-8301. The deadline is March 5.

City officials will select a “diverse group of people of varying ages, interests, life experience and community involvement,” according to a news release from City Hall that was distributed Tuesday.

Those who apply and are not accepted this spring will be added to a waiting list for future classes, according to the release.

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