Itasca County

Itasca county

The basis of any democratic government is its citizens. In the United States, the essence of democracy is embodied in the Constitution, which begins, “We the People. . . .” This wording establishes democracy as not only a right, but also a responsibility, and establishes the foundation for citizen involvement in governance.
The right and responsibility of citizenship unfolds in many ways: citizen involvement in governance encompasses not only citizen participation (through mechanisms such as public hearings) but also citizen decision making, information sharing, and voting.
Citizen involvement is important for local governments worldwide because it increases legitimacy, efficiency, and accountability and because it distributes the burden of good governance among all citizens, not just local government officials.
The methods of citizen involvement range from dissemination of information through electronic networks, newsletters, and public meetings, to engaged and participatory processes (such as strategic planning, task forces, public meetings, and focus groups) that encourage all citizens to be active players in decisions made for their community.