Civic engagement involves individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern. It can take many forms, from individual volunteerism to organizational involvement to voting. Engagement involves promoting the quality of life in a community through political, non-political, organizational and grassroots processes. In a democracy, all segments of the community - businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, and individual residents - can and should be involved in civic engagement activities.
The Live Well San Diego Expanded Indicator "Voted in Federal/State/Local Election" measures the percent of the population who voted at each of these election levels in the last 12 months. Through the election process, citizens have the ability to decide who represents them in government and which public policies - from healthcare and education to the economy and environment – they support at the community, state, and national level.
Voter participation is the best means of measuring civic and political engagement. High voter turnout is desirable in a democracy because it increases the chance that the political system reflects the will of a large number of individuals. Educating children on the importance of voting, engaging them in the process, and leading by example will help build the foundation for future civic-minded citizens.
An important characteristic of active civic engagement is the commitment to participate and work for social changes that can improve the conditions of life and boost the chances of success for children, families and communities. Civic engagement can be a powerful process that moves people toward a greater belief about their capabilities to produce effects.
This year will hold key opportunities for registered voters to let their voice be heard. The Presidential Primary Election will take place on June 7th, with the General Election scheduled for November 8th. Be sure you are registered to vote and be a part of the election process this year!
To learn more about local election information, visit: sdvote.com
Stay tuned as information about each Live Well San Diego Indicator will be highlighted each month. Learn more about the indicators here.