Mayor Pete Aguilar and Council Member Bob Gardner have been invited to participate next month in a unique opportunity to meet with White House officials to discuss the issues affecting local communities.

The Community Leaders Briefing Series invites 150 local leaders from around the country each Friday during the summer to the White House to meet with officials and learn more about President Obama’s priorities and initiatives from the people who work on them every day.

In return, Administration staff will get to hear what’s going on in cities and towns across the country directly from the experts – the grassroots leaders.

Mayor Aguilar has been invited to attend the Aug. 12 briefing. Council Member Gardner will attend the briefing one week later on Aug. 19.

“I look forward to participating in this Community Briefing and talking about the role local government plays in solving community problems,” said Mayor Aguilar.

Participants in the Community Briefing Series are local leaders who are currently involved in their cities and towns at the grassroots level — in their neighborhoods, schools, churches, non-profit organizations, environmental groups, activist and advocacy groups, etc. and who are continuously invested in improving their own communities.

“We’re looking for those that can bring their successes, challenges, and ideas directly to the White House to help us improve the conversation between the grassroots and Washington,” a White House release indicated.

Mayor Aguilar indicated he planned to share some of Redlands’ unique successes with White House staff.

“I certainly think our efforts to coordinate and promote volunteers serving the community has been a recent success story that could be a model for communities nationally,” Mayor Aguilar said.

Following the general briefing, participants will have the opportunity to participate in one of several specific, issue-oriented briefings with agency officials. Mayor Aguilar will join a briefing with Small Business Administration officials, while Council Member Gardner participates in a briefing on Energy and the Environment. The trip is being made at each council member’s expense. No City or Federal funds are allocated for travel, lodging or other expenses.