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 21-30:

  1. Cedar Rapids, IA. In June 2008 Cedar Rapids was engulfed by  flood waters from the Cedar River, causing wide-spread devastation. Six weeks after the flood the first open houses were held to develop the flood management strategy. More than 2,600 community members participated in the flood management alternatives. The final series of public meetings resulted in the city council approving a flood management strategy in November 2008, just five months after the flood.
  2. Kenai, AK.   Kenai is home to hundreds of hungry bears, both the relatively innocuous black variety and the more frightening subspecies of brown bear, the grizzly. Interactions between humans and grizzlies are dangerous for both species. A pilot project called the Bear-Safe Neighborhood project was organized by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Wildlife Conservation and the City of Kenai with the program’s main emphasis on reducing bear problems due to improper garbage storage and other human-caused attractions.
  3. Dubuque, IA. Spurred by a depressed economy in the 1980s, Dubuque recognized a need to  leverage partnerships and residents’ strengths to put the city back on the map. By creating common goals and a shared identity throughout several visioning processes since the 1990s, Dubuque has become known for their sustainability and equity efforts.
  4. Huntington Park, CA. Huntington Park recognized that low usage of recycling resources was a sign of the need for more robust resident engagement. The campaign “In Huntington Park, Recycling is Natural” was developed as a way to create civic responsibility in the community through environmental stewardship.
  5. Montrose, CO.  Montrose rallied around its veterans to create a community without barriers – not just for returning soldiers but for people of all ages and abilities. Through engagement and hard work they are creating a “no barriers” environment for people of all ages and abilities who live in or visit the community.
  6. Stockton, CA.  Healing South Stockton is aimed at connecting with residents who have experienced trauma and chronic stress, linking them with behavioral health services and community supports appropriate to their needs and culture, and addressing systemic community issues that lead to or increase community trauma. 
  7. Marana, AZ. Seeking to address the gap in access to food for many students outside of the school year, the Maran Unified School District (MUSD) Superintendent introduced the idea of converting an old donated bus into a “mobile unit” designed to bring nutritious meals to under-served children in MUSD.
  8. Indio, CA. The City of Indio engaged farm workers through a series of meetings to help design and rebuild their housing at the Fred Young Labor Camp. In the process they created new opportunities and new avenues for prosperity.
  9. Seattle, WA. Seattle is the fastest growing city in the country, and demographic changes in Southeast Seattle indicate that people of color have been displaced from their communities because the cost of living has become unsustainable for them. In response to this rapid growth and demographic change, the City of Seattle has embarked on a multi-faceted equitable development strategy to help residents “prosper in place.”
  10. Pasco, WA. The city’s complicated governing and voting system made it difficult for minority candidates to win in competitive elections. In March 2016 the ACLU of Washington notified the city that it believed the election system violated the federal Voting Rights Act. Instead of fighting the ACLU in court, the city negotiated with the organization. Ultimately, the judge accepted a consent decree in which six council seats would be elected by district and one at-large.

*Examples 1-10
*Examples 11-20


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