Washington, DC – IRI today announced the launch of the Democratic Governance Corps program.  The program, sponsored by IRI and the National Endowment for Democracy, seeks to identify and deploy retired local government officials from the United States to countries where IRI is implementing democratic governance programs.  The volunteers will work with local government leaders in dealing with common local issues.  Mayor Paul Tauer, former mayor of Aurora, CO, will be the first participant. He will travel to Peru and will work with Mayor Salvador Heresi of San Miguel, a municipality of Lima.

Mayor Tauer will work with Mayor Heresi and staff and share his experiences about how he approached issues such as local economic development, transportation and community revitalization.  He will participate in meetings and strategy sessions on initiatives to improve local service delivery and constituency outreach in San Miguel.

Mayor Tauer served his community in Aurora, for 16 years, first as an elected Councilman, and then as Mayor from 1995-2003.  During his time as mayor of a city roughly twice the size of San Miguel, he addressed the same issues that Mayor Heresi is facing – how to improve the quality of life, stimulate community development and attract investment.

Democracy Governance Corps volunteers will work with local government leaders and share their years of experience on local issues that many cities around the world face.  Beginning with the program in Peru, IRI will initiate similar exchanges in other Latin American countries.

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