In today’s blog, Dr. Michael Omidi discusses two initiatives in California that promote civic engagement. He then suggests how other states in America can use these as models for increased civic participation.
In recent years, America has experienced a profound decrease in civic engagement. Last year, voter participation was at an all-time low. It seems that most of America is experiencing an increased sense of civic disengagement.
That said, the state of California is doing its part to try to increase awareness and participation in civic engagement with two initiatives; the California Civic Innovation Project and the California Civic Engagement Project. Each of these respectively are doing their part to spur participation in the political process in California.
The California Civic Engagement Project is a non-partisan civic engagement research and outreach initiative housed at UC Davis Center for Regional Change. The research provided is intended to empower and inform a wide variety of policy, as well as organizing efforts. It intends to address disparities in state education, health and employment.
The California Civic Innovation Project was founded in late 2012. It promotes innovation in technology, policy and practice to expand engagement between communities and government. It intends to make government work for everyone through the intersection of technology, policy and civic engagement.
Both of these projects are working to inform, educate and encourage participation in the political process. The current state of civic participation is surprisingly low compared to the amount of information sharing that is possible through social media platforms. How can other states benefit from models like the CCIP and CCEP?
By incorporating initiatives in civic engagement, future generations can learn the importance of civic participation. Thus, an entire generation can be informed and groomed to participate in policy and reform. Additionally, through programs like these, states can reach the current voting population. They can start increase their reach to boost voter participation and activism in the political process.
Ultimately, both government and private organizations must experiment with the ways in which they can boost civic engagement. If old models aren’t working, than we must address new avenues to influence citizens to participate. One way in which is to utilize marketing professionals to start viral campaigns that speak to younger voters. In order to make policy more palatable and relatable.
Find out how you can become more involved in civic engagement. By impacting one person at a time, we can create reform.
Yours in health,