Through our Impact Our Cities initiative we've learned that no one knows better than the people working every day to make their cities function better and to foster a more sustainable civic infrastructure. These leaders range from grassroots organizers, to spiritual leaders, small business owners and elected officials. They form the core of our teams to bring back a spirit of civic engagement and participation to improve the quality of our discourse and achieve real results.
Here on our cities forum page, we hope to bring together the leaders of our Impact Our Cities project to discuss current initiatives, shared experiences and best practices with the wider Citizens Campaign community.
Feel free to log in and post your ideas, thoughts and questions and don't forget to share what you do here on social media. Posts can be tagged and sorted by city to keep your discussions more organized.
One of the best ways to improve economic development is to cultivate an arts and music scene. Cities across the country have had dramatic economic growth around arts initiatives. Incorporating the arts in the downtown, in redevelopment design and planning, helps foster a sense of place and attracts visitors.
I would love more information on creating art murals on public spaces. Do we need to have an arts council first? Are there ways to raise money and commission work by local artists?
An article in today's New York Times reports on a study that found that "by age 3, the children of wealthier professionals have heard words millions more times than those of less educated parents, giving them a distinct advantage in school and suggesting the need for increased investment in prekindergarten programs."
Rather than forcing flashcards on students the experts emphasized the importance of natural conversations with children and helping children identify words during playtime.
The City of Providence, RI is piloting a solution called "Providence Talks," low-income children will be given recording devices to calculate how many words they hear, and then the program will coach parents. (Read about it here)
What other programs are out there to boost children's vocabularies?
According to NJBIZ Magazine a group of volunteer etch-savvy Hoboken residents are creating back-up wifi network in the case of another emergency like Sandy, "We have to fix this problem ourselves so that our community is prepared for the next big crisis." The project, MileMesh.com, was founded with only $3,000 of startup money.
What steps has your city take to prepare for another "Sandy"?