Civic engagement is at the heart of representative democracy.

Transparent, responsive, and effective local government requires civic engagement.

On its simplest level, civic engagement is bringing people together around a shared interest, such as education, health care, or housing.

Bringing residents together with business owners, landowners, developers, nonprofits, and local government can be messy and time-consuming, but it creates understanding and builds trust.

Professional local government managers are key to this process of community building.

Professional managers:

  • listen to the concerns and desires of residents
  • bring interested parties together in public forums to start conversations.
  • know the community’s power structure and its players so they can influence resource allocation decisions and keep projects moving
  • bring projects to completion and evaluate the results, frequently spanning several economic cycles.

Opening the process

Working in coordination with their elected officials, professional managers make sure all groups are brought into the process of developing policies and programs.