Please join us in wishing congratulations to NCDD Member Organization, the National Civic League, on the exciting announcements shared last week! From the press release, "The National Civic League is adding two new divisions: a Center for Democracy Innovation and a Washington, DC office! The Center for Democracy Innovation will be led by Matt Leighninger, a veteran thought-leader in the field of democracy and civic engagement, and the Washington office will be led by the current Director of the All-America Cities program and Communications, Rebecca Trout." Learn more in the post below and on the NCL site here.
National Civic League Announces Expansion to Preserve and Advance Democracy
Center for Democracy Innovation
The new Center for Democracy Innovation will work to sustain democracy by inviting people to help redesign the “civic infrastructure” of their communities, scale democracy through strategies for inclusive engagement to improve equity and governance, and measure the quality of democracy and engagement, particularly in ways that lift up the views and ratings of residents. Much of the Center’s work will be done through hands-on technical assistance in communities.
The work of the Center will continue Leighninger’s history of learning from and with communities about ways to improve democracy, as someone who has worked with over 100 communities in 40 states. His first book, The Next Form of Democracy, is a firsthand account of that wave of democratic innovation that emerged in the 1990s and 2000s. His second, Public Participation for 21st Century Democracy, co-authored with Tina Nabatchi, is a guide and textbook that surveys the role and potential of engagement in K-12 education, health, land use planning, and the work of state and federal governments. Most recently, he worked with the League on the 9th edition of the Model City Charter, helped organize the Legislators’ Forum on Innovations in Democracy on Capitol Hill, and partnered with the Institute for Citizens and Scholars on the Mapping Civic Measurement project and report.
Washington DC Office
The new DC office will house the League's external affairs work, increasing the organization’s visibility and collaboration with national organizations, federal agencies, and legislators. By having a larger footprint in the nation’s capital, the League will be better positioned to establish formal and informal collaborations with DC-based organizations and individuals on projects related to democracy reform and civic engagement. Through the All-America City Award program, the League is well-acquainted with the innovative work happening all around the country and is looking forward to bringing this perspective to national conversations and efforts to strengthen democracy.
The new DC office will be directed by Rebecca Trout, who brings eleven years of non-profit leadership experience in the areas of stakeholder engagement, strategic communication, and process development and improvement. During her five years at the League, Rebecca has spearheaded the successful planning, execution, and evaluation of four annual All-America City Award events, a three-day peer-learning conference recognizing communities for inclusive, innovative civic engagement work. She has grown and strengthened the network of past All-America Cities by connecting them with one another and with resources around local good governance practices and civic engagement strategies and will continue to direct the All-America Cities program as part of her national governance portfolio.
Learn more at www.nationalcivicleague.org/innovating-for-democracy/.