The Challenge (and Importance) of Engaging the Public

David Villano takes an in-depth survey of the state of public engagement practices in the U.S., and the positive effects of the processes that work.

Villano writes, "[A] growing body of evidence and the culture shift accompanying the election of President Obama are prompting policymakers at all levels of government to consider programs and policies that strengthen the skills and character traits that promote good citizenship: pride in community, trust in individuals and institutions, the ability to work in groups, membership in service organizations, and even social interaction among neighbors. Political scientists and others who study the democratic process are finding that those skills and traits often correlate with the positive policy outcomes public officials routinely hope to foster, including lower crime rates, higher academic achievement, the creation of jobs and improved health care delivery."

An innovative program in Hampton, VA is profiled.

Full Story: Building a Better Citizen

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