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Thomas Wheatley's 5 tips for the young wonk

Atlanta civics 101 from CL's news editor



1) Learn about the city firsthand from the experts like those at the Atlanta Preservation Center, which every spring hosts Phoenix Flies, a marathon of wonkish seminars and talks. Emory University's Digital Scholarship Commons and Georgia State University's ATLMaps group have teamed up to offer ATL Studies, a free quarterly meet-up at Manuel's Tavern where people present the city's past and mull its future. atlantastudies.org, atlantapreservationcenter.com.

2) Georgia Tech's School of City and Regional Planning and College of Architecture together host panel discussions, events, and symposia throughout the year. So does Georgia State's Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. Sign up for email alerts and you'll find yourself occupied in no time. You might just meet your next significant other there. It happens. www.planning.gatech.edu, aysps.gsu.edu.

3) Go to the Atlanta History Center. Yes, it's in Buckhead. But the museum, which boasts an active social media presence on Twitter and Tumblr, houses photos and documents of the walkable, transit-connected city Atlanta once was and can, with your help, become again. atlantahistorycenter.com.

4) There is no shortage of groups — many of which are run by young people — trying to make Atlanta a better city, including Architecture for Humanity, Citizens for Progressive Transit, the Sierra Club, the Georgia Conservancy, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, PEDS, and the Architecture and Design Center, the Lifecycle Building Center, Southface, and more. Get involved.

5) Local colleges and universities' libraries are a treasure trove of historic documents and newspapers that tell, often times in hilarious fashion, Atlanta's history. Use your student login to view these gems because we guarantee, you will wish you had once you're handed your diploma.

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