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Civic Engagement in Eau Claire
Civic Engagement in Eau Claire
Civic Engagement in Eau Claire
Civic Engagement in Eau Claire
Civic Engagement in Eau Claire
Civic Engagement in Eau Claire
Civic Engagement in Eau Claire
Civic Engagement in Eau Claire
Civic Engagement in Eau Claire
Civic Engagement in Eau Claire
Civic Engagement in Eau Claire
Civic Engagement in Eau Claire
Civic Engagement in Eau Claire
Civic Engagement in Eau Claire
Civic Engagement in Eau Claire
Civic Engagement in Eau Claire
Civic Engagement in Eau Claire
Civic Engagement in Eau Claire
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Civic Engagement in Eau Claire

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Rebuilding local democracy through civic organizing strategies

Rebuilding local democracy through civic organizing strategies

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  1. Civic Engagement Practices in Eau Claire, Wisconsin Rebuilding Local Democracy Through Civic Organizing NLC Webinar on Civic Engagement Practices June 23, 2010
  2. Three Civic Engagement Perspectives <ul><li>Kerry Kincaid: City Council President </li></ul><ul><li>Mike Huggins: City Manager </li></ul><ul><li>Stan Carpenter: Citizen Activist </li></ul>
  3. Voici l’eau claire! <ul><li>An Introduction to Eau Claire </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Early French voyageurs: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Here is clear water” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>67,000 city residents </li></ul></ul>
  4. Working Definition <ul><li>Civic Engagement: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying and solving problems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Discussing and choosing alternatives </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Making tradeoffs </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. Civic Engagement Philosophy <ul><li>Effective and enduring civic engagement will require that citizens learn and practice more effective problem-solving skills, and that community organizations and institutions create more opportunities and public spaces for active citizenship ( Clear Vision Report July 2008) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sparking involvement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Equipping engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Embedding collaboration </li></ul></ul>
  6. Sparking Civic Involvement: Role of Elected Officials <ul><li>Invite public input at Council meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Convene interactive forums in community </li></ul><ul><li>Attend public meetings sponsored by others </li></ul><ul><li>Listen actively </li></ul>
  7. Elected Officials’ Challenges <ul><li>Greater demands on personal time </li></ul><ul><li>Weak /sporadic citizen attendance </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to change behavior of elected officials </li></ul><ul><li>City, county, and school district silos </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of public space opportunities </li></ul>
  8. Equipping Engagement: City Web Portal <ul><li>www.eauclairewi.gov </li></ul><ul><li>Timely information and news </li></ul><ul><li>Council and staff contact information </li></ul><ul><li>Clear complaint process </li></ul><ul><li>Accessible ordinances, reports, budgets </li></ul>
  9. Web Portal Challenges <ul><li>Pushing information out to community </li></ul><ul><li>Using social media effectively </li></ul><ul><li>Public service delivery impacts </li></ul><ul><li>Web content support </li></ul><ul><li>Budget cutbacks </li></ul>
  10. Embedding Collaboration: The Clear Vision Project <ul><li>Citizen-led community visioning in 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>$40,000 jointly funded by 10 organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitated by Derek Okubo, Nat. Civic League </li></ul><ul><li>200 stakeholders/125 strategic actions </li></ul><ul><li>Civic engagement as key performance area </li></ul><ul><li>Partnered w/ Center for Democracy and Citizenship to develop civic training </li></ul>
  11. Clear Vision Strategies <ul><li>Public Work 101 Training (8 hrs) </li></ul><ul><li>Relational organizing concepts and practices </li></ul><ul><li>Issue-based civic work groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jobs for underemployed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Treatment instead of prison </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public park funding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborative education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Performing arts facilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regional transit </li></ul></ul>
  12. Clear Vision Facilitation <ul><li>Center for Democracy and Citizenship </li></ul><ul><li>UW-Eau Claire Strategic Planner </li></ul><ul><li>National Civic League </li></ul><ul><li>Local “train the trainers” </li></ul>
  13. Clear Vision Obstacles <ul><li>Community marketing and outreach </li></ul><ul><li>Hacked Clear Vision web site </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership succession for Implementation Committee </li></ul><ul><li>Balancing citizen and public official participation </li></ul><ul><li>Incorporation </li></ul><ul><li>Stable funding </li></ul>
  14. Civic Engagement Funding <ul><li>Direct $40,000 cash contributions </li></ul><ul><li>In-kind facilities and administrative support </li></ul><ul><li>Training registration fees </li></ul><ul><li>Embed civic mission into formal structures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>City 2010-2012 strategic plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>L.E. Phillips Memorial Library strategic plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chippewa Valley Museum cultural planning </li></ul></ul>
  15. Civic Engagement Partners <ul><li>Clear Vision Eau Claire </li></ul><ul><li>UW-Eau Claire Center for Service Learning </li></ul><ul><li>National Civic League </li></ul><ul><li>Center for Democracy and Citizenship </li></ul><ul><li>3 local governments and 2 school districts </li></ul><ul><li>Public employee unions </li></ul><ul><li>Chamber of Commerce and area businesses </li></ul><ul><li>Royal Credit Union </li></ul><ul><li>Institute for Wisconsin’s Future </li></ul><ul><li>Eau Claire Community Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>Faith-based community organization (JONAH) </li></ul>
  16. Civic Engagement Challenges <ul><li>Diminished civic work skills of most citizens </li></ul><ul><li>Few public spaces for civic conversations </li></ul><ul><li>Community silos </li></ul><ul><li>Continued fiscal and budgetary cutbacks </li></ul>
  17. Next Steps <ul><li>Conduct civic training for elected officials </li></ul><ul><li>Train 500 citizens in civic engagement skills </li></ul><ul><li>Expand cadre of local trainers </li></ul><ul><li>Create online community forum through </li></ul><ul><li>E-Democracy.org </li></ul><ul><li>Convene connections among community groups </li></ul><ul><li>Actively recruit the disengaged </li></ul><ul><li>Create Center for Civic Engagement at </li></ul><ul><li>UW-Eau Claire </li></ul>
  18. What would help most? <ul><li>Greater flexibility in federal funding </li></ul><ul><li>Link local efforts with national initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>Create Civic Sister Cities Program </li></ul><ul><li>Improve links among college civic agency efforts, national democracy initiatives, innovative federal programs, and local communities </li></ul>

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