On this page you have the opportunity ask any civic engagement question you like. You could have a wide variety of concerns, ranging from who is interested in the community to how best to reach some under-represented group.
To make the overworked topic of citizen participation seem fresh again, let's add comments to answers and see if we can stir up a real online discussion.
Those of us who are city planners sometimes think there is nothing new to say or do about this topic, except to respond to the latest available online tools. But we were betting that our wonderful visitors can come up with a different approach, and that has proven true.
The challenges are becoming more difficult all the time, at least in the U.S. Especially certain demographic groups seem to be spending all their spare time, and some of the time they are supposed to be working for an employer, on their phones and online. Harnessing the power of social media and the internet in general still isn't a fully developed art.
Since basic civics doesn't seem to be very popular in many countries, especially where the government boundaries and type have been stable for many years, we thought we would make a plug for getting people involved through greater exposure to the complexities of their community or nation.
Have you ever seen a student return from a spring trip to Washington DC as completely bored with government as he or she was before? Generally that doesn't happen. We think that like most things in life, involvement precedes interest.
Whatever the civic engagement question, we suggest that you spell it out below as best you can, and let's turn the online community into your personal think tank for a better process of inspiring people to become really interested in their local community development issues or other important public topics.
When writing about youth and some of their more destructive pastimes, we keep wondering how to pose the civic engagement question to this group in a way that makes it compelling.
What are the subtle style changes in our approach that would make discussion of societal or local issues more exciting? How can the young people who have the most to gain by sound democratic decision making feel that their input is effective and efficient?
Oh, but we're supposed to be allowing you to ask the civic engagement question. You can do that on the form below. Or you can talk back to us about our perception that eyeballs lively with interest are "fewer and further between" in the public arena than they have been in the last 50 years.
Would you like to ask the other visitors and/or the editors a question? Here you can ask anything about motivating citizens, youth, or other parties to get involved. Then watch for the answer and any comments.
Click below to see questions from other visitors, and answers.
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Community dinners as community engagement
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