Gov University

     Civic Engagement

Once you know how government works, it’s time to get involved. It can be as simple as voting on local issues, volunteering in your community, attending public meetings or serving on boards and commissions. Regardless of your age, there are several ways to get engaged with local government.​​

​Apply for a grant

You're not in this alone. The city has several grant programs that can help get your community project off the ground.

JumpStart Community Safety Micro-Grant:​ The JumpStart Safety Micro-Grant provides small programming grants to community based organizations to help jumpstart efforts around the following Community Empowerment Initiative themes:

  • Conflict Resolution & Mediation
  • Crime Fighting & Prevention
  • Opportunities for Youth and/or Parents

Neighborhood Matching Grant: The Neighborhood Matching Grants Program has helped Charlotte residents improve their neighborhoods since 1992.  The program awards funds to eligible neighborhood-based organizations for projects that make neighborhoods better places to live, work, and play.

Beautification Grant: Keep Charlotte Beautiful (KCB) is accepting Letters of Intent for its Beautification Grant, which provides organizations up to $5,000 for beautification projects.

Tree Care: Neighborhood organizations can apply for up to $3,000 to assist with tree care in their community, including trees located on private properties and in common areas, reducing the impact of cankerworms and the emerald ash borer through banding and treatment. There is no income eligibility to receive a Tree Care Grant.

Security Grant: ​In partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD), this grant reduces the opportunity for crime and builds relationships between corridor businesses and community police officers.  This program helps with alarm systems, security lighting, cameras, fencing and decorative ironwork.​​

Get involved in local government

Decisions made at the local level can have an immediate impact on your daily life. don't let decision be made for you, with​out you.

Find out who reprsents you:​ You can locate your district by entering your address in the GeoPortal and selecting "voting" from the drop-down menu. You'll also find your polling location and your representatives for the following elected offices:
  • National Congress
  • National Senate
  • North Carolina Senate
  • North Carolina House
  • Mecklenburg County Commission​
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education​

​​​Attend City Council meetings: 

FIRST MONDAYS Council Strategy Session
SECOND MONDAYS Public Forum/Council Business Meeting
THIRD MONDAYS Zoning Meeting
FOURTH MONDAYS Public Forum/Council Business Meetings

To sign up to speak at a City Council meeting, complete our online form available at​​.

Check your voter registration status.

Serve on a board or commision​: The City of Charlotte has over 30 boards and commissions. Citizens of Mecklenburg County can volunteer to participate by applying for a vacancy.

  • Bechtler Arts Foundation Board
  • Bicycle Advisory Committee
  • Business Advisory Committee (E)
  • Charlotte Area Fund Board Of Directors (O)
  • Charlotte Business INClusion (CBI) Advisory Committee (O/E)
  • Charlotte Community Capital Loan Fund
  • Charlotte Housing Authority Board (B/O)
  • Charlotte International Cabinet
  • Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Access Corporation
  • Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (B/O)
  • Charlotte Tree Advisory Commission
  • Charlotte Water Advisory Committee (E)
  • Citizens Review Board (B/O/E)
  • Citizens' Transit Advisory Group
  • Civil Service Board (B/O/E)
  • Community Relations Committee (O)
  • Domestic Violence Advisory Board (B/O)
  • Firemen's Relief Board Of Trustees (O)
  • Historic District Commission (O/E)
  • Historic Landmarks Commission (O)
  • Housing Advisory Board of Charlotte-Mecklenburg
  • Housing Appeals Board (B/O/E)
  • Keep Charlotte Beautiful
  • Mint Museum Board Of Trustees
  • Neighborhood Matching Grants Fund
  • Passenger Vehicle For Hire (B/O/E)
  • Planning Commission (O/E)
  • Privatization/Competition Advisory Committee (E)
  • Public Art Commission
  • Storm Water Advisory Committee (E)
  • Transit Services Advisory Committee
  • Waste Management Advisory Board
  • Zoning Board Of Adjustment (B/O/E)

Build your neighborhood

You care about your neighborhood and you want to see it flourish. Learn what city investments are planned for your community and what resources are available to you and your neighbors. 

Healthy Communities: Through the Healthy Communities program you will learn how your health and the environment impact each other and how proper waste management can decrease these impacts. We will show you how the air, water and soil connects to cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke and diabetes. You will learn how to take practical, every day steps to improve your health and the health of your community.

Placemaking Hub: The Charlotte Placemaking Hub is a one-stop-shop for public realm enhancement tools. It aggregates the tools available through Urban Design, CDOT, Housing & Neighborhood Services, and Engineering & Property Management.

Neighborwoods Tree Canopy Program: NeighborWoods, a collaboration between the City of Charlotte and TreesCharlotte, is a community tree planting initiative aimed at keeping the tree canopy healthy and beautiful while achieving Charlotte's goal of a 50 percent tree canopy coverage by 2050.​

​​Health & Sanitation ​​​Community Toolkit:​ Neighborhood leaders, residents, landlords and community organizations play an important role in proactively addressing code violations in their community. 

​Communities across our nation have found that police departments work best when they work for the community, when they know the community, and when the community knows them. The CMPD Transparency Workshops offer us the opportunity to begin improving the partnerships needed to better serve you and the community at large. The topics that we have selected for these workshops are the ones that drive the most questions during community meetings, rallies, and other conversations with citizens.

Neighborhood Training Programs:​ The City of Charlotte has a rich history of neighbors coming together to enhance their communities. To this end, we are committed to offering training and resources to empower residents to reach their full potential. Please reach out to your service area representative if you have any questions about these events or resources.​

Citywide ​Projects Portal​​:​ ​A central location for construction projects managed by multiple departments across the city, including Engineering & Property Management, Charlotte Mecklenburg Storm Water Services, Charlotte Water, Charlotte Department of Transportation and programs and projects made possible by the Community Investment​ Plan.​​  ​

Community Investment Plan: The Community Investment Plan is a long-range capital investment program designed to meet the current and future needs of our growing community.​​ Learn about the city projects planned for your neighborhood and share your feedback with projects managers.​

CharMeck 311 serves as the customer contact center providing information and services for customers in the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. CharMeck 311 is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Residents can also submit service requests online 24 hours a day.


​The City of Charlotte has several opportunities for residents to volunteer based on their interests.

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department volunteer is someone who is interested in helping ensure the safety of the citizens of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.  Volunteers are a vital part of our police department. They help the department, the community and also have the satisfaction of helping others.

Visit the CMPD volunteer page to learn more.


  • Animal Care and Control Unit 
  • Citizens on Patrol
  • Mobile Radar Unit
  • Lake Citizens on Patrol
  • Division Offices /Felony Investigations Bureau
  • Bilingual Volunteer Unit
  • Parking Enforcement Unit
  • Community Involvement/Recruitment Team
  • Crime Scene Search Unit
  • Special Events Committee​

Mayor's Mentoring Alliance: The Mayor's Mentoring Alliance connects Charlotte mentoring organizations for the purpose of promoting best practices through providing workshops, resources and standards for quality service delivery.​

​​Keep Charlotte Beautiful: Keep Charlotte Beautiful (KCB) inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment.

Adopt-A-City Street: Join more than 100 active volunteer groups who clean up hundreds of miles of city streets. Neighborhoods, businesses, families, and individuals can make a difference in their community by adopting a City street through this grassroots litter removal program.Protect our streams

Great American Cleanup: The Great American Cleanup (GAC) is the nation's largest annual community improvement program. It takes place from March 1st to May 31st.

Adopt-A-Stream: Each year an average of 1,200 Adopt-A- Stream volunteers remove nine tons of trash in streams throughout Charlotte and Mecklenburg County! While this may seem like a lot, we still need more help! There's approximately 3,000 miles of streams throughout Mecklenburg County and there's always a lot of trash that ends up in streams after a storm.

The Big Spring Clean: From the early 1990s until 2015, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services (CMSWS) hosted an annual one-day clean up event called Big Sweep. It was part of clean up events coordinated across NC by the nonprofit NC Big Sweep that dissolved in 2015. In 2016, CMSWS renamed the event The Big Spring Clean and has moved the event to take place in the spring.

Storm drain marking: Help protect streams and lakes by educating the community about their connection to streams and lakes! Volunteers with the Storm Drain Marking Program glue decals onto storm drains that say, "This Drain Is Only for Rain. Do Not Dump – Drains to Creek". Help us reach our goal - mark every storm drain in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County! 

Tree planting/maintenance: Streams need trees alongside their banks to reduce erosion, filter pollutants, absorb flood waters, reduce water temperatures, and provide habitat for aquatic wildlife like fish and turtles. Even if a stream was free of pollution, it needs a healthy buffer of trees to support life. Help us replant stream buffers with trees! 

Volunteer monitoring: Help us monitor the health of a local stream near your home! There are approximately 3,000 miles of streams and 100,000 storm drains in Mecklenburg County. We have an extensive surface water quality monitoring program, but we need your help monitoring this vast network of streams and storm drains. Participating in the Volunteer Monitoring Program is also a great way to teach kids about the local environment. ​

​Since 2005, Airport Volunteers at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) have assisted millions of travelers flying through the Queen City. Affectionately known as "The Yellow Shirts" because of their bright yellow uniform shirts, Airport Volunteers welcome passengers, answer questions and provide directional assistance. They offer a friendly smile, point out gate locations, make restaurant recommendations and promote CLT's many services and amenities.

Youth Involvement

You're never too young to get involved in local government.

​Housing & Neighborhood Services has several programs aimed at supporting our youngest citizens:

Mayor’s Youth Employment Program: This program partners with local employers to connect high school students to the work support the improvement of life outcomes for our youngest citizens and improve the quality of life of our city, our neighborhoods, and our families. force in an effort to help teens develop career goals, stay in school, achieve academically and develop social skills needed for work and life.

Mayor's Mentoring Alliance Connects Charlotte mentoring agencies, promotes mentoring best practices, promotes standards, and celebrates mentoring through an annual mentoring awards program.

TechCharlotte​:TechCharlotte is an initiative aiming to provide 16-24 year olds with technology experiences, industry education and application, and career pathways.

​Through GenerationNation, students become informed and engaged leaders who know first-hand how their governments and communities work, understand civic issues and different points of view, can intelligently use news and information, are ready to take an active role in civic problem-solving. GenerationNation students are a diverse network of young civic leaders.


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