The Rapidian

Staying Informed on Your City: A Beginner's Guide

While staying up to date on your local news can be difficult, it doesn’t have to be. So, here’s a quick guide on a few things you can do to stay up-to-date on the city of Grand Rapids.

Quick Links:

City Commission Agenda Calendar:

City of Grand Rapids YouTube Channel:

City of Grand Rapids Facebook Page:


Screenshot Grand Rapids City Commission Meeting - October 26, 2021

Screenshot Grand Rapids City Commission Meeting - October 26, 2021 /City of Grand Rapids

If you’re anything like me, you’re a person that likes to pay attention to the news. Although, this becomes a challenge when you consider the seemingly endless amount of stories and outlets that are begging for your attention. As a result, you might end up missing some of the most important stories, some of which are happening in the same city you call home.

In Grand Rapids alone, there are plenty of newsworthy stories happening on a daily basis, but it can be difficult to keep track of all the events. So, here are a few options keep in mind if your wish is to stay a little more informed about what’s happening in your city.

To start, one of the easiest ways to keep track of upcoming local news is through the city’s website. By visiting the agenda calendar on the city’s website, you’re able to see the City Commission’s entire calendar. From there you can see it all broken down; what each day has in terms of meetings, the agendas for each meeting, and a list previous meetings.

Alternatively, the official Facebook and YouTube accounts livestream every City Commission meeting, but can also be viewed any time after the meeting is held. While this option is convenient for the average consumer, the videos have no description for the meeting’s agenda, so it can become a little difficult to see what topics are covered. As a result, you need to circle back to the city’s website to view the official agenda packet for that day’s meeting.

If podcasts or the radio are more your style, Michigan Radio has a segment called “Minutes” in which they tackle local government issues, including the city of Grand Rapids. Their approach is to make local news more accessible to the average listener, without having to navigate through confusing websites and seemingly endless PDF files. Found on Apple Music, Spotify and RSS, Minutes is a great option if you’re limited on time.

For those more interested on a specific topic within the city, a potential option is to find an organization in the city that works within your topic of interest. If issues relating to housing are something you want to follow more closely, then subscribing to different organizations’ newsletters could be an option. Not only will you be following that specific topic, you can also expose yourself to new and different perspectives that you might not have known about previously. In addition, you can then scan the City Commission’s meeting calendar and see if the agenda packets cover any topics you might be interested in.

Grand Rapids has a lot of newsworthy events happening each and every day, but it can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. If you’re looking for a general overview of what the city is up to, the calendar for City Commission meetings, along with the city’s official Facebook and YouTube accounts are all great places to start. If you’re interested in a single topic, then finding various sources and organizations that cover that topic might be more up your alley. Either way, the first step is just finding an interest and taking the initiative. After that, you open yourself up to a world of information that you might not have known was all around you.

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