John Bridgeland and Bruce Reed

John Bridgeland is Founder and CEO of Civic Enterprises, a public policy firm in Washington, D.C., and Vice Chair of the Service Year Alliance at The Aspen Institute, a new initiative to create a voluntary, civilian national service counterpart to military service in the United States. He is also author of the book, Heart of the Nation: Volunteering and America's Civic Spirit, which is being assigned in classes on college campuses.

The Responsibility of Government in Building Civic Engagement

We should all see it as part of our civic duty to contribute toward the common good. However, many people do not connect with the governing process in a meaningful way. Perhaps this is where government can do more by further engaging citizens and driving civic awareness.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways, already tested at multiple levels of government, that citizens can interact with public organizations and contribute to improved services for all.  Such examples are summarized below, and provide excellent models for government to enhance citizen engagement.

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