While Northampton residents of all stripes tend to be very generous with their time for philanthropic endeavors, the lion’s share of volunteer hours tend to focus on worthy charities and non-profits rather than participating on local boards and commissions and at public meetings.
Northampton officials and Pioneer Valley Planning Commission staff will be hosting a citywide public meeting November 21 from 7 to 9 at the Senior Center here, to hear from residents on what is causing that disparity and make their pitch for the good that can be done through involvement in local government.
The meeting is yet another piece of a larger Re-Energize Democracy campaign in town that has also included outreach to traditionally marginalized groups like low-income public housing residents as well as young professionals.
The Re-Energizing Democrazy campaign is made possible by Partners for Places – a project of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities is a successful matching grant program that improves U.S. and Canadian communities by building partnerships between local government sustainability leaders, and place-based foundations. National funders invest in local projects developed through these partnerships to promote a healthy environment, a strong economy, and well-being for all residents. Through these investments, Partners for Places fosters long-term relationships that make our urban areas more prosperous, livable, and vibrant.
A final report of recommendations on how to increase participation in local government will be created by Casa Latina, the Human Rights Commission, Northampton Housing Authority, and Verdant Multicultural Media.
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