Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Ideas to spark civic engagement in 2013

Jan. 23, 2013, 3:23 p.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

Connect face-to-face with your neighbors - not just online. Contact your local government to make sure you have the services and information you need. Spend more time volunteering.

These are just a few pieces of advice offered today in a conversation about how to increase civic engagement in 2013. Participants included Knight Foundation’s Strategic Initiatives Associate Jeff Coates.

Hosted by Rock The Vote, the Google+ Hangout was designed to encourage more young people to become actively engaged and discuss strategies for how citizens can stay active in the political process.

In the video above, you’ll also hear from each of the participants on what trends they noticed in political engagement in the last election. They also offer their perspectives on how an increase in technology and information access can lead to a more informed and engaged public.

Find out how many projects happening in communities across the country - many of them funded by Knight, like Mobilize.org, YouthBuild, Code for America and TurboVote - are helping young people become more civically involved and politically engaged.  

Other participants included Ashoka’s Lennon Flowers, Alex Smith, National Co-Chairman of the College Republican National Committee, Chris Wallas, the Community Affairs Liaison at Prince George’s County and Devin Foley, co-founder and president of The Intellectual Takeout.

Participants also shared personal stories from their backgrounds that led them to do the work they’re doing now. For Coates, it was knowing in seventh grade that he wanted to be a Peace Corps volunteer and help people in communities.

The conversation was part of Self Magazine’s “13 Resolutions for 2013” series, which featured experts on a range of issues like philanthropy, career guides, finance and more.

By Elizabeth R. Miller, communications associate at Knight Foundation