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Civic Engagement

The Fabric of a Democratic Community

Civic engagement is the thread that weaves the fabric of community into a democratic society. In a democracy, we all share the role of citizen and have a responsibility to fulfill the obligations that come with the role—the obligation to participate in governing for the good of the whole.

Citizens create sustainable communities by sharing in the responsibilities to develop an environment in which people thrive and live peacefully, promote harmony with nature, and act with a sense of accountability.

Civic involvement is not the same as service. Service implies doing for and civic implies doing with. Through service, you meet other people's needs. Through civic action, you work publicly to address a public issue or challenge. Civic engagement involves active participation and leadership in public life.

Community Leadership After 50

The Vital Aging Network, in partnership with Twin Cities Public Television (tpt), produced the following video which plays regularly on tpt broadcast TV. The video explores how being civically engaged can help create sustainable communities. People 50+ have an opportunity to lead the way.


How to Get Engaged

You can find many ways to engage yourself in civic life. Consider the public issues of greatest concern to you and make connections with others who share your interests. Then make a plan to take action.

View the 12 Best Practices for Engaging Boomers document created by the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA).


This section includes the following pages:

  • Age4Action Network and Vital Aging Network Co-Sponsor Idea Forum - More than 120 people came together on July 12 at the Wilder Center in St. Paul to generate ideas about how to incorporate support for work, serve, learn, and lead more fully into the federal Older Americans Act.
  • Unleashing the Potential of Older Volunteers - Through service, boomers can be a positive influence
    on young lives, help older individuals live independently in their own homes, preserve the environment, offer our professional skills to local nonprofit groups, and lend our talents and experience to strengthen our communities in countless other ways.
  • Know Your Audience? - The programs that will best serve and engage tpt's 50+ audience are different depending on the members’ different answers to these questions.
  • Safeguarding Investments for Minnesota's Future - The Minnesota Environmental Partnership is committed to ensuring that Minnesota's constitution is upheld, and that, even in difficult financial times, elected officials protect Minnesota's great outdoors for our children and grandchildren.
  • Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment - In November 2008, 1.6 million voters in Minnesota approved the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment. The following article provides a brief synopsis on what the Legacy Amendment means to you.

Check our Additional Resources for more information


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