What is civic engagement and why is it important?
The word civic engagement has become popular in recent years, but what does it actually mean? Civic engagement refers to the ways in which people can get involved in the life of their community, whether that’s through voting, volunteering, or simply being informed about local issues. In this article, we are going to take a look at some popular examples of civic engagement and explain how these examples impact a community.
1. Local Voting
One example of civic engagement is local voting. Voting is important because it allows people to have a say in how their community is run and what values it upholds. It also means that local governments are more accountable to the people they represent. Voting is the most crucial part of a democracy. When people vote in local elections, they are choosing the representatives who will make decisions on their behalf. These representatives are responsible for ensuring that the needs of the community are met. They also have the power to make changes that will improve the quality of life for everyone living there. For example, local representatives can choose to invest in public transportation. This has a direct impact on the quality of life for everyone living there because they can get where they need to go easier. For this reason, it is important for as many people to vote in the local elections as possible so that the elected officials represent as much of the community as possible.
Another example of civic engagement is volunteering. When people volunteer, they are giving their time and energy to help make their community a better place. There are many different ways to volunteer, and there’s sure to be an opportunity that fits your interests and skills. It is important that local governments make an effort to promote volunteer opportunities to their community members and make it easy for volunteers to offer their services and get started. By fostering volunteering within a community, you are opening the door for people to get involved and make their community a better place. Let’s look at an example. If your local government encourages volunteering in local parks, you might see an increase in the number of people who visit and use the parks. This is beneficial for the local economy because it brings in more visitors and also makes the community a more attractive place to live. Volunteering is a popular example of civic engagement and can encourage anyone in the community to spend their time making their community a better place.
3. Being Informed
Another important civic engagement activity is staying informed about local issues. When people are informed about what’s going on in their community, they can make better decisions about how to get involved. For example, if there is a local issue that you feel passionate about, you can choose to attend a public meeting or write to your local representative to express your opinion. If you are informed about local government decisions, you can also hold your local representatives accountable. It is important for people to have access to accurate and up-to-date information so that they can make informed decisions about their community. Staying informed is one of the most important examples of civic engagement as it is a direct reflection of the transparency of the local government. Transparent local governments make every effort to give constituents access to information about their community and what decisions are being made by the local government. This ensures trust in the local government which makes constituents more likely to engage in civic engagement activities such as voting and volunteering because they can easily see the direct impact of their efforts.
4. Being involved in administrative processes
Civic engagement can also mean getting involved in the administrative processes of local government. For example, if you have a concern about a local issue, you can reach out to your local representative and voice your opinion. You can also attend public meetings where decisions are being made about your community. It is important for people to be aware of the administrative operations of their local government in order for them to get involved. For example, does your local government advertise when city council meetings are taking place? Do you remind constituents about upcoming council meetings and the agenda items being discussed? Are there recordings of past council meetings easily available to constituents in the community who were unable to attend? These are all ways local governments can make it easier for constituents to get involved in the administrative processes of their local government and encourage this kind of civic engagement.
5. Attending local events
Another important civic engagement activity is attending local events. When people attend local events, they are supporting their community and showing pride in where they live. Local events are also a great way to meet new people and learn about different aspects of your community. For example, if you attend a local festival, you might learn about a new local business or meet someone who is passionate about the same issue that you are. Both these things help make your community more successful and a happier place to live. It is important that constituents have an easy place to find information about events taking place in their community in order to attend and encourage others to attend. Attending local events is a great way to show support for your community and get involved in civic engagement.
Civic engagement is important because it helps to build strong communities run by elected officials who are accountable to the people they serve. When people are engaged in their community, they can have a direct impact on the decisions being made about their community. Civic engagement activities can range from attending local events to staying informed about local government decisions. Civic engagement is crucial for both constituents and the local government. It helps improve the quality of life for constituents while also helping achieve the goals and objectives of local governments.
The good news is that civic engagement is made much easier by digital solutions. For example, MyGovLinks is an innovative digital solution powered by Microsoft Power Platform that helps directly improve civic engagement and empower constituents to make a difference in their community. This is one of the many municipal solutions designed, developed, and implemented by MuniLogic. This platform allows constituents to make personalized profiles, monitor updates on evolving situations, get notified about upcoming community events, and so much more. MyGovLinks can be used on any device and is the future of civic engagement technology. For more information about MyGovLinks and MuniLogic, visit us today at www.mygovlinks.com or www.munilogic.com for more information.
About the authors:
Hannah is a professional content creator and writer. After graduation from the Public Relations program at Cambrian College, Hannah has gone on to start a successful freelance writing career. She is passionate about bringing words to life in a way that makes complicated topics more approachable. From website content to full articles, Hannah loves to find ways to communicate with any audience effectively. She currently lives and works in Sudbury Ontario.
Joseph founded INVORG focusing on a client-centric service delivery platform for innovating local organizations, not-for-profits, home and community support organizations, and small to medium-sized businesses. Joseph holds a Chief Information Officer Certification from Carnegie Melon University, USA, and from the US General Services Administration. He is an IT veteran with over 20 years of leadership in technology, including four years as CTO for the city of London.