Stewart said the city has participated in Georgia Cities Week for the past six years.
“I attended a Georgia Municipal Association meeting and picked up some flyers about it,” he said. “From there, I became interested and decided to get the city involved.”
The mission of Georgia Cities Week, which is sponsored by the Georgia Municipal Association, is to inspire awareness of cities throughout the state and services that are offered to residents.
This year, Georgia Cities Week was from April 22 to 28. In McDonough, involvement was concentrated on the youth. When the week was first held in the city, however, the focus was entirely different.
“When it first started, it was just something we did along with the fire and safety departments and several other organizations,” said Stewart.
From there, Stewart worked with youth in elementary and middle school to educate them on city government, cleaning up local neighborhoods and taking them on tours around city hall.
Students were also allowed to participate in a ‘Mayor-for-a-day’ program.
Casey Case, spokesperson for McDonough, said city government instruction and exposure is integral for students because many of them do not receive it within the classroom.
“If you go to any school system anywhere, they study state and federal government,” she said. “They are familiar with the higher levels of government, but where do they learn about the government that impacts them on a daily basis?”
In the future, Stewart said he wants to include high school students in the week, plan a youth summit to combat violence in the community and get youth to volunteer and interact with senior citizens in the city.