Have you seen ads from your local government, asking what citizens think about changes or projects in the community? Well, they often use “citizen issue tracking” to get this kind of information. The truth is your opinion counts! Community engagement helps leaders to better understand how to lead and what are the most pressing needs of the town. Speaking up is just one way to support and be heard in your local community, but it’s an important one. Let’s take a look at some of the positive things that happen when everyone speaks up!
Your Thoughts Can Promote Positive Change
The leaders and committees that make decisions in your community want to hear your ideas and feedback because it helps to bring about needed change. Involving the community is a key part of running a town no matter how large or small it is. Some specific things that are usually affected by community involvement are school programs, parks, roads, commerce, housing, and transportation. Consider these things next time you have an opportunity to attend a town meeting, school board meeting, or any town-sponsored event.
More Points Of View Are Heard
Community engagement can often be one-sided and biased, especially when the same people with strong opinions are the only ones who take part. This means that other points of view don’t get heard. If this happens, decision-makers might not make the best choices for the community as a whole.
It’s important to get involved if you know that you and your neighbors have needs that aren’t being met. Also consider businesses and those that have 501c3 status, like churches. If you and your family visit these places, your opinion matters. More public involvement ultimately gives leaders better information for technical, scientific, local budgets, and public concerns. Do yourself and your community a favor and show up to be heard!
Benefits the Community
When a group of people plan and work together on a project, they take ownership of it. You want to be heard in your local community from the start to finish. This is seen as an important part of making a community project work, even if not everyone agrees about every detail. When a community project such as a new library is done, it’s nice to know that your ideas and input were a part of something that helps the community.
Creates a Better Budget
It’s no secret that it takes money to run a community. Truthfully, numbers have more power than just about anything today. So, if you have an idea about how a project could be done more efficiently, how it could help the community, or how it might be wrong, others might just agree with you. Having more people involved in the money side of things gives those who are elected confidence that they will make the right decisions.
Online ways to get involved are becoming more and more popular, so going to public meetings isn’t always necessary. Don’t forget to say what you think about things that matter to you. Please share your tips for getting involved in your neighborhood!