Michigan Municipal League May/June 2023 Review Magazine

Engaged Residents: Residents play an active role in making decisions and civic affairs.

Summary Civic capital doesn’t always assure that a community will be prosperous or that residents will be happy. As Hampton, Virginia, City Manager Mary Bunting, says: “ Engagement never guarantees that everyone will be happy with the result. That utopia doesn't exist. However, engagement does produce better decision-making and, more importantly, better feeling about the process At the same time, our experience with communities during the past 125 years of the National Civic League’s existence and the 70 years of recognizing All-America Cities is that communities that have the qualities measured by the Civic Index are more able to address difficult issues, withstand challenges, and maintain a high quality of life. Because so many issues facing communities disproportionately affect certain populations within a city, inclusion and equity are particularly important in assuring the well-being of the community as a whole. Doug Linkhart is president of the National Civic League. You may contact him at 303.571.4343 or dougl@ncl.org. used to make decisions. When residents know they have (and how) to make a choice to influence decision-making, they inevitably feel better about it. ”

Inclusive Community Leadership: The community actively cultivates and supports leaders from diverse backgrounds and with diverse perspectives. Collaborative Institutions: Communities with good civic capital have regular collaboration among the government, business, nonprofit, and other sectors, as well as structures in place that facilitate such collaboration. Embracing Diversity and Equity: Communities with healthy civic capital recognize and celebrate their diversity. They strive for equity in services, support, and engagement. Authentic Communication: Healthy communities need credible, civic-minded sources of information presented in a way that residents can use. Culture of Engagement: Involvement by residents, businesses, nonprofits, and other stakeholders in every aspect of civic affairs should be part of local culture—an expectation, not an afterthought. Shared Vision and Values: Communities with shared values and civic pride have a common foundation for addressing public matters.

Las Vegas, NV residents come together to tend a community garden together.


MAY / JUNE 2023


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