Our democracy is going through a difficult time. Residents are cynical, disillusioned with politics and distrustful of state and national elected representatives. Despite the cynicism about politics, people continue to place high expectations on government while participating less. Many lose site of the privilege of living in a democracy where people’s interest and belief in practicing social equality are sanctioned.
Low citizen awareness and understanding of politics within state and local government frequently results in less community ownership of its own future. Civic engagement requires working collaboratively with local government to make positive changes in our community by offering a combination of skills, knowledge, values, and encouragement to turn talk into action. It can also lead to a better quality of life in our communities through both political and non-political processes.
Hagar is struck by the dearth of new leaders emerging from our local community to provide fresh perspectives and bold new strategies to address the challenges we face locally, nationally and internationally. The following learning opportunities were developed to pave the way for the next generation of leaders to create an inspiring vision of the future.
The Initiative for Leadership Engagement and Development (ILEAD) is a “call to action” in response to the need for increased voter turnout, better qualified candidates for elected office, greater resident civic participation and the community’s knowledge of how local government works. ILEAD is a professional community development initiative designed to stimulate greater civic participation locally and across the nation. Learn more
In 2016, Hagar took a bold step to help fill this void by offering the East Palo Alto/Belle Haven Candidate School to provide practical information to anyone thinking about seeking elected office. One East Palo Alto, The City of East Palo Alto, Nuestra Casa, the Multicultural Counseling and Educational Services of the Bay Area (MCESBA) and the City of Menlo Park offered their support as co-hosts. Learn more