Providing tools and support to community members to create local initiatives that build local capacity and leadership, increase environmental sustainability, and foster greater livability and vitality.
Engaging Local Government
One of the most direct ways to influence change at the local level is to engage the people who are actually making the important decisions in your community--i.e., your local government.
Working with local authorities can help community groups immensely. Residents can influence the policies that local legislators adopt on important issues like land use, education, zoning, parks and recreation, and many more. In return, local authorities may be able to offer you their expertise, practical support, and even funding.
The makeup of your local government will have a major impact on what its priorities are. So one of the most important ways to make a difference is to cast your vote in local elections, and to encourage other community members to do the same. But if you'd like to go the next step in political engagement, there are countless tools to help your community get started.
Did You Know…
- Local governments in the U.S. include 3,000 counties, 36,000 municipalities, 37,400 special districts, and 14,600 public school systems.
- In 2009, expenditures by local governments totaled 8.7 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, according to the Congressional Budget Office.