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New primer on building civic infrastructure from CommunityMatters

The CommunityMatters partners hosted a workshop in February in Newport, Vermont focused on tools and techniques to encourage broad citizen participation and improve local decision-making. CommunityMatters®, a partnership of seven national organizations including NCDD, share the belief that people have the power to solve their community’s problems and direct future growth and change.

CM_logo-200pxThe partners just released a valuable report on resources and action steps resulting from the CommunityMatters workshop. In conjunction with our local host, Newport City Renaissance Corporation, the workshop convened representatives of Newport’s local government, business community, non-profit sector, service clubs, and community volunteers to develop a framework for action to improve community decision-making and problem-solving.

The report shares resources and highlights from workshop discussions run by each of the partners to assist the local community in taking action together to steward change in Newport — which is why it can serve as a primer of sorts on building civic infrastructure in communities. It offers more specific thoughts from Newport residents on the community’s assets as well as steps that Newport could take to ensure a stronger future.

The challenges and opportunities faced in Newport and not uncommon to cities across the country. Each CommunityMatters partner organization offers tools and resources on one specific aspect of building strong civic infrastructure and community involvement. We invite you to dig deeply into different aspects of community building and learn about the tools and resources we find most effective.

Download the report here.

CommunityMatters partner organizations include: Deliberative Democracy Consortium, Grassroots Grantmakers, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation, New America Foundation, Orton Family Foundation, Project for Public Spaces, and Strong Towns.

CommunityMatters helps cities and towns steward change by fostering what we call “civic infrastructure.” Civic infrastructure consists of the opportunities, activities and arenas, both online and face-to-face, that allow people to connect with each other, solve problems, make decisions and celebrate community. There is no prescription for what strong civic infrastructure looks like – there is no silver bullet. Instead, we offer a diverse set of tools and resources that communities can adapt to best serve their local culture.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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