By: Kate Shervais
Last year, Integrated Work began offering eight hours of “Civic Engagement” time off which expires at the end of each year. Many of us wish to make a positive impact in the world and find it difficult to contribute on a national level. Civic engagement offers us the opportunity to be actors, rather than bystanders in our futures.
Civic engagement is defined as working to make a difference in the civic life of one’s community and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes.
Per the definition above, civic engagement can mean many things so we’ve designed this with intentionality to be flexible and encourage participation in our communities every year, not just big election years. Our team is located across the country, so when and how to participate in civic engagement is often localized and specific. This time can be used one hour at a time or all at once; and how it’s used is up to the discretion of the staff member. Some examples of how we use this time in all months of the year are below.
- Reading the voter guide to make informed decisions.
- Volunteering at our local food bank by assisting in the warehouse.
- Writing postcards to voters in my state to get out the vote.
- Participating in local City Council meetings.
- Calling and/or texting likely voters about a specific candidate, ballot initiative, or upcoming election.
- Read about issues in my local community with equity in mind.
- Volunteering with a City Council campaign or committee.
- Volunteering with a social justice organization.
In what ways do you engage in your community? We would love to hear!