Civic Engagement at the Local Level of Government

Dr. Miriam Porter
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This study explored the question, "Do local government managers see themselves as civic educators?" Past research suggests that civic engagement has become more important today in helping people adapt to the complexities of a rapidly changing world, and mitigating negative attitudes toward government. The conclusions demonstrated that local government managers in Minnesota see themselves as civic educators covering a broad spectrum of issues, educational foci and educational methods, giving them numerous opportunities for engagement with local government stakeholders in various settings. The nature of the work, as well as the political tone in local government, has required to adopt the role of aiding others in participating in the local government decision-making process in an informal manner. The primary focus of the role is with the city council. However the carrying out of this role is neither prescribed nor is it viewed as politically palatable. One recommendation identified was that educators in the field of public administration should consider bringing the topic of civic education on some level into the training programs for local government managers.

Keywords: Civic Engagement, Civic Education, Local Government, Local Government Managers
Stream: Political Science, Politics, Teaching and Learning
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Civic Engagement at the Local Level of Government

Dr. Miriam Porter

Faculty, Professor of Urban and Regional Studies, Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN

Dr Miriam Porter has taught courses in local government management at the Urban and Regional Studies Institute at Minnesota State University, Mankato, for the past eight years. She holds her Doctorate in Public Policy from Hamline University, St. Paul, MN. Prior to teaching, she spent 13 years working in local government management in 3 growth-oriented suburban communities in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. During this time, she participated on a committee charged with implementing pay equity in local government throughout the state of Minnesota. She has been published in "Public Management" magazine, which is produced by the International City / County Managers Association, Washington, DC. Her research interests are in civic engagement and adult learning models. She has given presentations on the topic of civic engagement at international conferences. She has served on the International City Managers Association International Committee for the past 3 years.

Ref: H05P0280