125 Examples of Civic Capital

In honor of our 125th Anniversary, we will be using our newsletter to highlight 125 projects or initiatives that use civic capital to solve problems and build equitable, thriving communities. These cities have been recognized for engaging community members in collaborative efforts to improve education, health care, economic prosperity and the general quality of life. Today, examples 11-20:

  1. Cincinnati, OH. Cincinnati Police Department’s Place-Based Investigations of Violent Offender Territories (PIVOT) program uses data to systematically dismantle criminal networks and eliminate safe havens for criminal activity. PIVOT empowers residents to reclaim their streets through confidential informants, visibility, and place-making.
  2. Tacoma, WA. Tacoma-Pierce County’s Latino population is growing, with many foreign-born residents; in 2015 the City and Latino activists held a Latino Roundtable to create engagement avenues for this growing demographic group. One of the outcomes of the roundtable was to organize two Latino Town Halls in 2016, which attracted more than 250 attendees.
  3. Beaverton, OR. The Beaverton Community Visioning Plan, is a grassroots, community-lead and inspired road map of the future. Since its founding in 2009, the Beaverton Visioning Advisory Committee (VAC) has dedicated thousands of volunteer hours engaging with community members on what their vision of Beaverton should be. The VAC reached over 5,000 people. Over 6,500 community ideas were collected in over six languages (English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Spanish, and Korean).
  4. Las Vegas, NV. The Westside School, which opened in 1923, was the first Las Vegas school to open its doors to African American and Native American students. The Westside School Alumni Foundation (WSAF) was founded to preserve the historic Westside School site, educate the public on its history and value, and to encourage the development of the vacant school as a cultural destination.
  5. Tallahassee, FL. The first of its kind, REACH brings together myriad city and community services focused on improving the quality of life within Tallahassee’s lower-income and older neighborhoods. REACH began with a focus on helping low-income residents reduce their energy usage and costs.
  6. Fremont, CA.  Fremont received a grant to improve the quality of life for seniors in the area. Fremont partnered with local community organizations to engage their many diverse residents in focus groups. To ensure they were reaching members of the community, the City reached out to community leaders, particularly leaders at churches, temples, mosques, and gurdwaras.
  7. York, AL. Sponsored by the Coleman Center for the Arts, placemaking artist Mathew Mazzotta was invited to York to facilitate a series of community dialogues. Mazzotta invited residents to create “living rooms” in public spaces. Through these Living Room dialogues, the idea for the Open House was born. Built on the site of an abandoned home, the Open House is a collapsible building shaped like a house which can be transformed into an open-air public gathering space.
  8. Allentown, PA. The newest undertaking of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multi-Cultural Affairs is the establishment of a Cultural Community Center, where cultural organizations have a space of their own and local immigrants can seek resources and legal counsel in the face of recent immigration policy changes.
  9. Longmont, CO. While flooding seemed highly unlikely, City of Longmont officials viewed this possibility of severe flooding as a public safety issue and began strategizing how to inform, engage, and prepare the community. Before the flood came, in looking to inform and engage residents, special efforts were taken to reach vulnerable populations living in mobile home parks located very near the creek.
  10. Boston, MA. Concerned about the need to ensure that all citizens had equal and appropriate access to city services and resources and inspired by the popularity of local food trucks, the city of Boston created a “City Hall to Go.” The “City Hall To Go,” brings government services out into underserved communities through staffed food truck vehicles.

*Examples 1-10

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