Those in philanthropy who value community and resident engagement do so because of their overall mission for improving social and economic well-being and supporting social innovations and advocacy that encourage equitable opportunities. Neither objective can be achieved without critical voices at the table to guide the way and foster accountability.
Ten years ago, a temporary “visioning” process in a mid-sized Wisconsin community was initiated to address community problems and overcome the mutual “democratic trust deficit” that exists in many communities. Later, the initiative’s ad hoc, interim structure was formalized into a nonprofit organization with a focused public narrative about active citizen engagement, public problem-solving, and essential democratic practices.
Institutional Dynamics and Structural Evolution in American City Government: Legitimizing Political Exclusion or Enabling Efficiency and Economy?
Institutions matter, and different institutions, all else be-ing equal, produce different results. But institutions are not insulated from historical conditions, policy makers’ choices and citizens’ preferences.
A Chronicle of Civic Renewal: The National Civic Review in the 1990s
As the National Civic League was approaching its centennial in 1994, its board and staff were focused on how the league could most effectively address contemporary problems of governance and community-building. One answer was to use their quarterly National Civic Review as sounding board for the latest thinking about democratic practices and civic renewal.
Partnerships with Community Organizers: Residents, City Officials Solving Problems Together
A city in southern California is showing how residents and local government managers can forge new relation-ships and work together to meet the needs of a once neglected area of the city. How these issues are resolved may not always please everyone, but a productive dialogue has been established.