Know your civic organizations + resources in Lakeland, Florida

We love a sunset view of Lake Wire almost as much as we love being in-the-know. | Photo via @rebeccabaumknowles, graphic via 6AM City

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Turns out, there’s more to being an engaged citizen than sitting in Munn Park enjoying an iced coffee from Black & Brew. We got curious about the various organizations + resources that make Swan City what it is, as well as how everyday citizens can do their part. Keep reading for the can’t-miss information. 

Organizations

The City Commission

Lakeland’s city commission is made up of seven members, elected by the people to represent a district or the city at-large. They hear from community members + vote on policy during bi-monthly meetings at City Hall, which can be watched in-person or online

The Lakeland Community Redevelopment Agency (LCRA)

The LCRA works with the city commission to improve community areas, such as The Joinery, Yard on Mass, and other spots in Dixieland, downtown Lakeland, and the Midtown area

The Lakeland Downtown Development Authority (LDDA)

You can thank the LDDA for the revitalization of our historic downtown, First Fridays, the Farmers Curbside Market + maintaining downtown’s aesthetic with specific guidelines. 

Staying Informed

Whether you’re looking to keep up with one of the organizations listed above, local businesses, or the Lakeland community, there are social media accounts + websites to keep your eyes on. 

Voting

Don’t wait until election season to prepare. Learn about voter registration, finding your polling location, and requesting a mail-in ballot. (We’re working on updating this during our next election cycle as well — stay tuned.)

Now that you’ve been briefed, we’re curious: What are you still wondering about when it comes to being an engaged citizen of Swan City? Tell us what questions you have, and we’ll find the answers. 

Maybe you don’t have a question, but you do have some useful information we could add to our Lakeland civics guide. Share your expertise and we’ll share your knowledge with your fellow readers. 

Local Media

We know how much our readers love LALtoday, and we also believe there’s enough love to go around. In case you didn’t know, there are many options for Swan City residents looking to be an expert on local news, events, and more. 

LALtoday | News, lifestyle | Free

You probably already know this one. Here at LALtoday, our goal is to educate + activate our readers. We give you the need-to-know Lakeland information directly to your inbox at 6 a.m. for you to read in five minutes or less.

We’re reading: Rilee’s Chalet Suzanne piece and Connor’s piece on what’s coming to Bonnet Springs Park.

LkldNow | News | Free

Founded in 2015, LkldNow is a nonprofit local news provider that delivers community-driven stories to its online readers via its website, social media platforms, and weekly newsletter. According to founder Barry Friedman, LkldNow’s mission is to increase citizen engagement and help readers understand their communities. 

We’re reading: This piece about how Lakeland’s using federal + state programs to help families purchase a home.

The Lakelander | Culture, lifestyle | Free with subscription options

Dubbed “Lakeland’s City Magazine,” The Lakelander is known for its artistic format, impressive photoshoots, and free magazine stands scattered throughout Swan City. If you’re anything like City Editor Rilee, you’ve been collecting their free magazines for years. Ready to start? Find them at these locations

We’re reading: This in-depth look Lakeland’s oldest eatery, Reececliff Family Diner

Lakeland Mom | Kids + family, lifestyle | Free 

Polk County parents would be wise to make Lakeland Mom a regular part of their reading, in our opinion. Owner + editor April Mucci launched the website in 2015 and has been sharing family-oriented events, camps, seasonal activities, educational opportunities, and more ever since.  

We’re reading: This guide to all things summer fun. 

The Ledger | News | Free with subscription options 

Did you know that The Ledger has been around for nearly 100 years? Founded in 1924 as the Lakeland Evening Ledger, the local paper has shared everything from breaking news stories to sports coverage throughout its many iterations. 

We’re reading: This interview with Biscuits and Benedicts owner, James Kerr. 

LKLD Magazine | Lifestyle | Free 

Residents of Lakeland and Winter Haven are likely familiar with LKLD Magazine and Haven Magazine. With 13,500 copies being distributed monthly, this local publication is doing significant work in highlighting local businesses and individuals that make Polk County a great place to live. 

We’re reading: This write-up on local artist, Van Plating

Access Lakeland | City of Lakeland initiatives + events | Free

Did you know the City of Lakeland also has a digital newsletter? Information used to go out via printed utility statements, but has since transitioned to the digital world. Now, residents can sign up for a monthly newsletter to stay informed on municipal news.  

We’re reading: The May issue’s update on the South Florida Avenue Road Diet.

Did we miss your favorite local outlet? Tell us who you love to read.