Support for Voting and Civic Engagement


Empowering Individuals and Communities Through Civic Engagement

What is civic engagement and citizenship and why is it important for AmeriCorps members to increase civic engagement competencies? Aren't members civically engaged by virtue of their commitment to service?

Defining Active Citizenship To begin, there are many ideas and definitions of civic engagement. Most definitions include, in some form, at least three key components. Consider this definition from The State of Service-Related Research. The Grantmaker Forum on Community and National Service

Citizenship or civic participation consists of behaviors, attitudes, and actions that reflect concerned and active membership in a community. This includes the more traditional electoral citizenship activities, such as voting, serving on nonprofit boards or school boards, as well as less traditional forms of political participation, such as community organizing and social activism. It includes participation in small neighborhood-based efforts and the larger national and international movements.

Behaviors, attitudes and actions. These are the common principles of citizenship and civic engagement. Voting, serving, organizing and social activism are all expressions of active citizenship. And, while many individuals associate citizenship primarily, or solely, with voting, active citizenship clearly encompasses a broader range of involvement.

Active citizenship is about personal and community empowerment. Voting is a part of that package of empowerment, but only one part. Service is a part as well, but only a part. For individuals and communities to access legitimate power to promote and protect their interests and rights, they must also be able to serve, organize and to take action. By accessing as many sources of civic empowerment available, individuals and communities can impact their own lives, and the lives of others, in a significant way.

Voting alone is usually not sufficient. Service, by itself, is also often inadequate. Or organizing. Or even social action. But together they components of civic engagement can be very effective in not only addressing needs but also affecting change.

Well-trained AmeriCorps members can be significant influences and resources in helping facilitate an expanded awareness of active citizenship and civic engagement.

Roots of Active Citizenship Active citizenship has a strong tradition in this country dating back to its earliest days. In fact, the principles of active citizenship are embedded in this country’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence. This document outlines the fundamental rights extended to all individuals. The presence or absence of these rights is often referred to as social justice. To better understand the concept of active citizenship as expressed through civic engagement, one simply needs to reference the founding document that holds both a promise and a mandate.

Source: Corporation for National Service

Foundation and philanthropic support for voting in support of civic engagement from around the Web.

Marin Nonprofits Allotted $2.5M through Public Voting Program
Foundation: Marin Community Foundation

"What would you do with $2.5 million dollars to advance racial equity?" That's the question community members in Marin County, Calif., were asked as part of a pilot project to invest in...more

Gov. Kevin Stitt Appoints New Secretary of Education

"Her advocacy, rooted in her personal experiences and her journey as a parent, has led to impactful and sustainable changes," Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said in a statement announcing the...more

Lyman Called out for Criticizing Health Insurance Program Despite Voting for It

A Republican candidate for governor in Utah has been taking to social media to call a new state program offering health benefits to the children of undocumented immigrants "unacceptable," KUTV...more

Two Voters in Argentina Share What They'Re Looking at for the Upcoming Elections

Argentina heads to the polls Sunday for a runoff election that's seen as a referendum on the country's economic policiesand on the future of the ruling Peronist party, which has been in power since...more

Penn Alumni: Nine Honored at 2023 Alumni Award of Merit Gala

Ali Shapiro Cudby, author of Keep Your Customers and executive editor of the Animal Planet TV network and Gold Digest Magazine Group, started her career in marketing at the New York Times and worked...more

Courageous Members of Congress Applauded By Consumers and Producers for Voting to ...

The House voted down a measure Tuesday that would have required the USDA's commodity checkoff programs to be more transparent. The measure failed by a vote of 377 to 49, with 13 members of...more

Press Release: Vote Reds in the Mlb Selig Award Balloting

The Cincinnati Reds have been named as a finalist for Major League Baseball's 2023 Allan H. Selig Award for Philanthropic Excellence, which recognizes the charitable and philanthropic efforts of...more

Latinx Community Focuses on Voting Rights for National Hispanic Heritage Month
Foundation: Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Latinos will make up the largest voting bloc in the US for the first time in next year's presidential election, and voting rights groups want to make sure that doesn't happen again. "This is both...more

Neoheat, by Mommy Matters, Is Honored as a 2023 Jpma Innovation Awards Finalist

The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association's annual Innovation Awards honor "some of the most exciting new baby and children's products on the market today, including interactive toys,...more

Zambia Implements Innovative Programme for Climate Change

The town of Luangwa in eastern Zambia has been hit hard by flooding in recent years, leading to business closures and economic disruption. The town relies heavily on local revenue sources, like...more

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Social Enterprise Crafts Sweet Design

Florence Norman founded Sweet Cavanagh, an award-winning peer-led aftercare social enterprise based in Notting Hill. The company hires women and trains them how to make and design jewelry. However, these women are in the process of recovering from eating disorders and addictions.

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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