An ongoing, effective citizen education program is inherent to the mission of the Maine Municipal Association and is one of the best ways the organization can serve as an advocate for local governments in Maine.
While citizen participation is vital to democracy, it is not enough to simply invite participation. It is necessary to first educate citizens to provide them with the ability to understand the structure, workings and benefits of local government, and to help them realize their role in local government.
Perhaps most important, as we educate, we must also create a sense of ownership. Citizens must recognize that their local government is an extension of themselves.
Through education efforts such as the one you’re currently viewing online – and others – citizens are both empowered to participate, and enabled to do so in a way that is constructive.
Some municipal leaders have asked MMA to provide a “tool kit” that they can use when citizens ask fundamental questions about municipal government. We are beginning to do so.
Maine Municipal Literacy Initiative
1. Citizen Initiatives: Taking Part in Our Town Development
2. Educating Citizens about Local Policy Change
3. Exploring Local Government
4. Who are the People in our Neighborhood?
Middle School Essay Contest
For 7th Grade students around the state, this contest asks students to demonstrate their understanding of municipal government by writing an essay entitled "If I Led My Community. . .". For information, please contact the MMA Communication & Educational Services staff at: 1-800-452-8786 or 207-623-8428.)
Homeowner's Guide to Property Tax: A newly updated video of how property taxes work.
This can be read or heard as a narrated guide. (If you would like a copy of this presentation on a DVD, please contact the MMA Communication & Educational Services staff at: 1-800-452-8786 or 207-623-8428.
A Citizen's Guide to Town Meeting, the most common form of municipal government in Maine.
Teaching Local Government in Schools
Curriculum for use in schools, appropriate for students from kindergarten through 12th grade.
Going into the Classroom?
Tips for Speaking to Young Students
Tips for Speaking to Older Students
Tip Sheet for Students
A glossary of municipal/town meeting terms
Annual Report Competition
So You Are Thinking of Running for Local Office
A discussion and video of the challenges of government service and some helpful advice!