How The Citizens Campaign is Helping Trentonians Transform Their Community

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We live in a nation where government is based on the consent and participation of the governed, yet in practice the reality often does not match up.  Even at the local level we feel that government is too far removed or far too complex for us to be able to have a say in it.

This is precisely the attitude an organization called the Citizens Campaign seeks to change.  Heather Taylor, the organization’s Senior Director of Communications and Public Affairs, shared the vision the Citizens Campaign has and how they’re working to accomplish it.  With Trenton’s mayoral election fast approaching, their message is one that Trentonians need more than ever to hear.

Founded in 1998, the Citizens Campaign seeks to help citizens become involved and empowered in their communities. It tries to change the negative view held by many about government and make them see that having a say in it is both possible and a responsibility.  According to Taylor, the first step is getting out to vote.  If troubles in leadership that have checkered Trenton’s past have left some citizens doubting whether their vote matters, they need to know that voting is exactly where making a difference starts.

Their website, thecitizenscampaign.com, includes video tutorials, how-to guides, and even arrangements to receive firsthand expert coaching on how to be a leader.  Individuals can become citizen legislators, holding positions such as those on the planning and zoning boards, which, while volunteer, nonetheless give them a role in their government.  They can also be citizen journalists, performing the vital task of making sure that the positive news and good deeds done in Trenton aren’t ignored.

The organization hosts events to promote civic participation and to improve the community, and are holding several in the next few weeks alone.  On Saturday, April 26th, they hosted an event called Setting Trenton’s Education Agenda for our Children, which included an hour-long forum in which mayoral candidates shared their vision for the city.

Monday, April 28th, marks The Citizens Campaign’s annual celebration of leadership.  Out of the many nominees for citizen leadership, Caren Franzini, Rosalin Petrucci, and Anne Evans Estabrook will be honored.  Anyone wishing to make a difference in their community need only look at their work to see that an individual truly can create a substantial positive impact on the place they live in.

The organization also holds civic engagement happy hours, which occur regularly.  They assist in maintaining the dialogue about issues critical to the city beyond Election Day, which is vital in ensuring that citizens continue to play an active role and have the tools they need to continually move their community in a positive direction.

Image Credit: www.veracitymedia.com

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