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 the MMA to provide a “tool kit” that they can use when citizens ask fundamental questions about municipal government. We are beginning to do so. The resources are linked from the left navigation bar.
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