The Moment for Participatory Democracy

Three civic engagement models that can help bring the voices of everyday citizens into public life.

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Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/Richard Ricciardi
Media Outlet: Stanford Social Innovation Review

Hollie Russon-Gilman wrote for the Stanford Social Innovation Review about three viable models for civic engagement: 

For many scholars and practitioners, the answer to where citizens are congregating is a bit of a riddle: Civic life takes place both everywhere and nowhere specific—it is in cities, towns, and communities all across the country, but there is no single center of gravity. That poses challenges for those who wish to mobilize nationwide efforts and who recognize that citizens have finite time. But beneath these challenges, there is also an opportunity to look with fresh eyes on what is already working, and find ways to build on it and bring it to scale.


Hollie Russon Gilman is a fellow at New America. She holds a PhD from Harvard's department of government and is the former White House Open Government and Innovation Advisor.