Future leaders must understand how government works. Civics education is critical for young people, and municipal elected officials play a key role in that process.
Florida League of Cities Past President Isaac Salver, council member for the Town of Bay Harbor Islands, believes that civics education is critical for young people, and he believes municipal elected officials play a key role in that process. His president’s initiative, Readers2Leaders, focuses on connecting students to cities through reading and resources.
Education is a priority for Salver. His mother was a Holocaust survivor from Poland, and his father was an immigrant from Cuba. Salver’s mother spoke three languages, but she couldn’t read. She was unable to help Salver with his homework, but she and her husband were determined that their children were going to be educated. The education he received and the books he read laid the groundwork for his life’s work and his passion for public service.
President Salver’s initiative was built on the success of campaigns from previous League presidents. Gil Ziffer promoted the Let Cities Work campaign to tell legislators to take their hands off Home Rule. Bartow City Commissioner Leo E. Longworth helped to take that message to Florida’s citizens. Municipal leaders will continue to engage state lawmakers and city residents, and Salver’s initiative will keep the momentum going. Elected city officials will tell children from an early age about the importance of the cities they live in and the key role that government has in shaping their lives.
“The City That Talks,” a fully illustrated children's book, was the flagship project of President Salver's Readers2Leaders initiative. Digital versions of the book are available below in English, Spanish and Creole.
With many people working from home and looking for ways to educate and entertain children, digital versions of “The City That Talks” children’s book can be a great resource to help our youngest residents understand city services with a fun and friendly story.