Observer Corps

Observer Corps

Opening government to public oversight is the ultimate safeguard of democracy.

Observer Corps button

Government transparency is a vital part of the League's mission since our founding in 1920. The Observer Corps is one way that Leagues promote open government on a local level. Read Observing Your Government in Action Guide: Protecting Your Right to Know for more information about how an Observer Corps works.

Our efforts in government transparency reinforce our reputation of fairness, nonpartisanship and trust. League members attend government meetings to learn what their government is doing and to monitor whether those meetings are conducted in an open and transparent way. Experience has shown the importance of the League being present to watch, listen, and to take action when necessary.

The Observer Corps protects the citizens' right to know by sending observers to watch our government in action. Our collective government affects every aspect of our lives and comprised of both elected officials and the groups they appoint for commissions and boards. The County Commissioners, the County Council, the city and town councils to township trustees and the township advisory boards all do work and make decisions which affect each of us. Examples of appointed boards include redevelopment commissions (which capture and control tax increment financing property tax funds for a specific area), the Area Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals, the County Board of Elections and Registration and library and park boards among many others.

Join the Observer Corps! 

League members who are interested in attending governmental meetings are welcome and encouraged to join the Observer Corps. Contact the program coordinator at, observercorps [at], who will provide guidance and training when needed and a helping hand to anyone interested in learning about local government on this level.

The list of public meetings is long and there is something of interest for everyone who wants to learn. Being a member of the Observer Corps can be fun and rewarding. Watching our government in action can make one a well-informed voter. Sharing the information gleaned at a public meeting can also help others become well-informed voters.