Comment 68725

By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted August 30, 2011 at 17:43:53 in reply to Comment 68655

For many people the past is the best predictor of the future.

I'm not saying we should give up and do nothing, but I'm saying that snapping people out of their apathy is going to be a challenge - moreso because we have little or no historical evidence that civic engagement gets anything done in this city. In fact we see the opposite, we see civic engagement historically ignored and de-railed when no one is paying attention. Sure you can encourage civic engagement without a handy historical precedent to show people, but it will take an idea, a sales pitch, something that will convince people "you're not wasting your time, something good can come of this."

If you want your initiative to succeed you have to have a plan of attack for getting these citizens - some of whom vote, and most of whom don't - engaged. I'm not quite as optimistic as you are that "new media" and the "ripple effect" will result in sufficient spread of civic engagement. You need something more.

To use a farming analogy, you're in the middle of a barren field sowing seeds - sure some will sprout, but if you want to maximize your yield you should really plow the fields first. What will be your plow?

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