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Front corner shot of New City Hall
The City Management Academy (CMA) is a program offered by the City of Sacramento through the Community Engagement Team in partnership with the Alumni Members of the City Management Academy. The City Management Academy was created in 1995 and since then, more than 554 participants have graduated since its inception. Participants are provided an opportunity to learn how the City is managed and operated, discuss challenges facing the City of Sacramento and learn about strategies used to address them. A dialogue is developed through an interactive learning experience which allows presenters and residents to share and learn from each other.



The mission of the City Management Academy (CMA) is to educate and encourage partnerships between City of Sacramento residents and business owners to help maintain, revitalize, and promote healthy communities.


  • Raise participant awareness of city operations and resources
  • Develop the leadership capacity of participants to contribute to neighborhood or business groups
  • Increase academy participant collaboration and communication with city staff
  • Promote interaction among the various City Management Academy Alumni Members


History of the City Management Academy

In 1995, the City Council requested the development of new partnerships with neighborhoods and the community. After talking to various community leaders and city staff, the City Manager’s Office proposed the City Management Academy (CMA).

The City Management Academy was created to:

  • Provide City residents an opportunity to learn how the City is managed and operated
  • Discuss the challenges facing the City and learn about the management and budgetary strategies used to address them
  • Facilitate an interactive learning experience where instructors and residents learn from each other
  • Reinforce partnerships between City staff and participants to encourage shared decision making and active involvement in City government

Since the inception of the Academy in 1995, the City has hosted 21 classes and graduated more than 554 residents, business owners, community partners, and property owners.

CMA 2015 Graduation
cinematic shot of computer presention to projector


The Community Engagement Team views residents and business owners as valuable partners in maintaining, revitalizing, and promoting healthy communities. Residents and business owners are truly the “eyes and ears” in neighborhoods for city staff. The Team believes open lines of communication and effective working relationships between Sacramento city staff, residents, and business owners promote an engaged public, proactive resolution of concerns, and a healthy community. The Division proudly coordinates the City Management Academy because it aligns directly with the mission of the Community Engagement Team.


The Ford Foundation and John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University recognized the City Management Academy as one of the Top 100 Innovative Ideas in the USA in 1997 and 1998.

The City Management Academy also received an Outstanding Innovations in Government Award from the American Society for Public Administration, Sacramento Chapter, in 1998.

Who is eligible to participate?

The City Management Academy seeks applicants who are:

  • City residents, city business owners, or city property owners
  • People who work in Sacramento or who conduct work benefiting the Sacramento community are also eligible to apply but higher consideration will be given to city residents and business owners
  • At least 16 years of age
  • Interested in maintaining or improving the City of Sacramento community

What is the cost of the academy?

The cost of the City Management Academy is $50.00 for materials and supplies associated with the course including copies of materials and binder. This fee is due, at the first session, in the form of a cashier's check or money order. Additional information will be provided to participants upon selection.

Application Review and Selection

Sac PD presenting to CMA students
CMA students listening to Fire Department's presentation

A panel composed of City Management Academy Alumni members will evaluate and rank each application based upon the evaluation criteria stated. A listing of potential CMA candidates with alternates will be selected.

The Community Engagement Team will send an invitation letter to those candidates selected along with a stand-by letter to the alternates. If a potential candidate declines the invitation an alternate will be invited to fill the spot.

Evaluation Criteria

Applicants will be evaluated on three criteria. Only completed applications that have followed the application guidelines stated will be reviewed:

  1. Location of residence, business operations, or property ownership within the City of Sacramento limits.
  2. Level of involvement in community groups or organizations that benefit communities in the City of Sacramento.
  3. Demonstrated interest in applying what is learned in the City Management Academy to maintain or improve the Sacramento community


For additional information about the City Management Academy contact Community Engagement at