The NNJCF actively promotes the democratic ideal that citizens be informed about and engaged in their government’s activities. Citizens and officials who listen to each other and learn together become more willing to address each other’s concerns. Participatory budgeting, citizen/school/government councils, shared services, and creative placemaking are examples of ways that citizens and local authorities can work together to improve the quality of government and the livability of their towns. For information on creative placemaking, please go to the ArtsBergen tab.
Collaborative civic engagement generates social capital that invigorates, strengthens, and enriches community life. Such public interaction builds understanding and mutual trust among residents. It builds loyalty, pride of place, and a sense of well-being that fosters cooperation, enabling governments to function more effectively and efficiently, improving services while lowering costs.