125 Examples of Civic Capital

In honor of our 125th Anniversary, we will be using our newsletter to highlight 125 cities 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, the first ten:

  1. Placentia, CA. This southeastern suburb of Los Angeles experienced fiscal shortfalls for years and convened a broad-based resident task force that held over 30 community meetings to develop a long-term plan for fiscal sustainability that included budget cuts and revenue enhancements, as well as an ongoing process for community involvement. (Link to Database)
  2. Mount Pleasant, SC. Understanding that prior public outreach initiatives had not worked in securing a clear understanding of a shared community vision, the town developed new engagement programs designed to re-build relationships, strengthen communication, and work together to establish this shared vision.
  3. Tacoma, WA. While Tacoma-Pierce County is only 10% Latino, this population is growing, with many foreign-born residents. In order to create engagement avenues for this growing demographic group, a group of Latino activists worked with the City to hold a Latino Roundtable, which was attended by 40 people. One of the outcomes of the roundtable was to organize two Latino Town Halls in 2016, which attracted more than 250 attendees.  
  4. Charlotte, NC. Following a report on economic inequity in the city and a fatal officer-involved shooting in late 2016, Charlotte, North Carolina looked to engage the community in meaningful ways through their Community Letter Engagement Initiative.
  5. Battle Creek, MI. BCVision launched in 2015 as a community-driven movement for change in Battle Creek. At the time, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Kellogg Co. met with local leaders, businesses, and neighbors to discuss how to spark transformation in Battle Creek and improve economic conditions.
  6. Columbia, SC. Front Porch Roll Call was introduced by the Columbia Police Department as part of the 21st Century Policing initiative to build better relationships between officers and the community. 
  7. El Paso, TX. Through its public libraries, the City of El Paso is working to provide basic educational and entrepreneurial services to traditionally underserved communities. The Library set about the process of formalizing their adult basic educational opportunities to help improve the quality of life of El Paso’s citizens.
  8. Hayward, CA. In 2017 he city of Hayward was experiencing “heightened community concerns about human and civil rights, and about increased tensions between community members based on people’s political affiliation, economic status, place of origin, immigration status…and other physical characteristics.” In response the city set up a community task force to use an inclusive process to update Hayward’s 1992 anti-discrimination action plan.
  9. Eau Claire, WI. The city of Eau Claire and the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire each faced the daunting task of rebuilding their own aging theaters. In other communities and at other times the university and city may have sought funding to rebuild separate theaters. In Eau Claire in 2012, the city, local arts groups, the university and others made a difference choice.
  10.  San Antonio, TX. Upgrade targets adults who want to finish their degrees. Upgrade’s advisers work with individuals and employers seeking to upskill their employees by helping them explore options for the right college and program; providing guidance about financial aid, college transfers, and transcript evaluation; and connecting potential students to community resources such as childcare and financial planning. 

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