Opinion: Creating a platform for civic engagement | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Opinion: Creating a platform for civic engagement

Devin Middlebrook
Tribune Opinion Columnist

In the broadest sense, civic engagement is the way in which people get involved in their community with the goal of improving the place they call home. Without knowing it, you have probably been civically engaged in the community at one point or another — from donating to a local organization, volunteering your time, voting or having conversations about issues you find important. It may not always seem like these individual actions make much of a difference, but if we combined the outcomes of all these actions, would the collective impact become more obvious?

Boosting individual and collective actions to help the community is the goal of the Tahoe Regional Young Professionals. We do not take a stance on any political, economic or social issue, but instead empower people to get involved and make informed decisions that lead to positive impact in the community.

To help empower the community, we are hosting a civic engagement 101 workshop Wednesday, Feb. 17, from 6-7 p.m. in the boardroom at Lake Tahoe Community College. The workshop will cover a variety of topics, including the basics of civic engagement, the political landscape at Lake Tahoe, upcoming local elections, major projects in the community and making your voice heard.

This is an interactive workshop designed to spark a larger discussion about the community — show up and be ready to speak your mind. If you cannot attend, a live stream of the first half of the workshop will be available at http://www.tahoetryp.org/member-benefits/civic-engagement. The workshop is free for members and $5 for non-members. Visit the Tahoe Regional Young Professionals Facebook page for more information on this event.

The Tahoe Regional Young Professionals is also launching a new public event series called Tahoe Town Hall. The purpose of the town halls is to bring the community together and have an open, constructive dialogue about issues that matter. Tahoe Town Hall will feature high profile and controversial topics in order to inform the public and open the dialogue between members of the community.

Local ordinances are the topic for the first Tahoe Town Hall on Wednesday, April 20, from 6-8 p.m. Representatives from local jurisdictions and agencies will be on hand to give a background on local ordinances and answer questions from the public. Key ordinances including vacation rentals, bear boxes, medical marijuana, plastic bags, food trucks and paid parking will be topics of discussion. All Tahoe Town Hall events will be free to the public and open to anyone looking to join the conversation.

Through workshops and the Tahoe Town Hall series, the Tahoe Regional Young Professionals aim to create a platform for members of the community to become informed, get involved and make an impact. Our goal is to provide the tools needed to make Tahoe the place you are proud to call home.

Devin Middlebrook is the civic engagement committee chair for the Tahoe Regional Young Professionals. For comments, questions, or more information on how to get involved please email Devin and dcmiddlebrook@gmail.com or visit http://www.tahoetryp.org

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