Making Sure Everyone Counts: Equitable and Inclusive Civic Engagement

As we launch into 2023 and beyond, the League will focus on applying and refining our time-tested process to ensure inclusive civic engagement. Ensuring equity in our process is imperative as we help communities foster healthy youth civic engagement, engage under-represented populations,  address climate change, reform police practices, and other pursuits.

While we are not sure of all the challenges and opportunities that 2023 may bring, some projects and priorities the League looks forward to working towards include:

  • Bringing the All-America City Award back in-person for 2023. This year’s theme focuses on Creating Thriving Communities through Youth Engagement. Applications are due February 15.
  • Using the Model City Charter to help cities revise their charters and other structures to embrace equity and engagement
  • Connecting with communities to provide guidance and assistance in their process of ensuring health equity.
  • Delivering high quality member benefits.
  • Expanding and scaling our work to embed equity in plans to improve the quality of life for older adults.
  • Finding new and better ways for our senior fellows to bring their expertise to The League’s community assistance process.
  • Creating and piloting a Youth Civic Index.
  • Advancing youth civic engagement by creating a comprehensive youth civic infrastructure in their communities.

Studies show that communities with inclusive civic engagement—where everyone has a place at the table to define, direct and implement public services and amenities—experience greater equity, display greater civic pride and exhibit stronger civic responsibility. Is your community in need of hope and guidance through community assistance or interested in partnering with the League on an above opportunity? Send us a message at [email protected].

The League’s plans for 2023 and beyond build upon our 2022 successes. While we were posed with many challenges coming out of a pandemic, we were also granted many opportunities to engage with communities and continue advancing our mission and impact.

Some top accomplishments for the League include:

  • 2022 All-America City Award. AAC was co-convened virtually with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. 10 communities were recognized for their efforts to using housing as a platform to promote early school success and equitable learning recovery The event reached 30,000 viewers and included a virtual exhibit hall, pre-recorded cultural entertainment showcases, motivational keynote speeches, and informative workshops.
  • National Civic Review. For 110 years the Review’s case studies, reports, interviews, and essays have helped communities learn about the latest developments in collaborative problem-solving, civic engagement, local government innovation and democratic governance. In 2022, the Review was made available to over 130,000 readers thanks to our members and 20 distributing partners consisting of national associations, nonprofits, and state leagues.
  • Promising Practices Webinar Series. The League’s monthly webinar series highlights successful efforts around the country with civic leaders from communities implementing creative strategies for civic engagement and local reform. In 2022, the League’s webinar series reached over 1,200 individuals and included topics such as youth engagement, sustainability, belonging, and equity.
  • Community Assistance. 2022 also brought us the opportunity to provide many communities across the country with hope and guidance through community assistance projects. The League facilitates strategic planning processes, community engagement trainings, and development of local engagement plans and materials- helping local governments and institutions engage and involve residents in ways that lead to tangible outcomes. Last year, the League worked with four Colorado communities to embed equity in their aging plans. Additionally, the League has been working with Grand Rapids, MI to improve community police relations.
  • Model City Charter. During 2022 we made presentations at national and state conferences on how cities can infuse equity and civic engagement into their charters and other institutional structures.

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