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National Civic Review, Volume 93, No. 1, Spring 2004

National Civic Review, Volume 93, No. 1, Spring 2004

Robert Loper (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-787-97583-8

May 2004, Jossey-Bass

80 pages

Select type: Paperback


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Note from the Editor (ROBERT LOPER).


The Regional Civic Movement in California (NICHOLAS P. BOLLMAN)
California has long been acknowledged as a leading “incubator of democracy,” encouraging reforms across the political spectrum. Can a burgeoning regional civic movement energize citizen involvement to help tackle the state’s pressing energy crisis, budget deficit, polarized political parties, and other critical issues?

The New Home Rule: A Regionalism Alternative, Supplement, or Distraction? (JOHN O’LOONEY)
For the last several decades, the concept of regionalism has been touted as a response to social challenges such as affordable housing, environmental degradation, and similar problems often beyond the powers of local governments acting alone to solve. However, some civic commentators are now suggesting re-examining an old idea—strengthening home rule to empower local governments.

Structures Matter, But Leadership Matters More: The Practice of Politics in a Fragmented Region (MARA A. MARKS)
A central concern about regional governance is often how to best structure such arrangements. Unfortunately, even the most thoughtfully constructed blueprints need strong local leaders to be effective. A recent conflict over the modernization of Los Angeles International Airport underscores the need for strong leadership.

Alleviating the Problem of Rational Voter Ignorance: A Proposal for a Ballot Portal (J. H. SNIDER)
Even in the age of the Internet, it can be challenging for voters to gather critical information about candidates for public office and key issues in elections. One potential solution to this problem is an online “ballot portal” that would consolidate media coverage and other resources.

The Rise of the New Civic Revolutionaries: Answering the Call to Stewardship in Our Times (DOUGLAS HENTON, JOHN MELVILLE, KIM WALESH)
Regionalism requires not only new forms of government, but new thinking by citizens and elected officials about collaboration and leadership in an increasingly polarized political environment. Fortunately, a new kind of American revolutionary is in the vanguard of a movement to reshape politics at all levels—the regional civic activist.



The Promise of Youth Is in the Present (ROBERT F. SHERMAN)
One of the most promising but still largely untapped sources of support for civic engagement and activism are the youth of America. Young adults from around the country organizing themselves to take on important issues such as drunk driving, sexual harassment, and educational reform offer rich illustrations of what could be achieved by nurturing youth involvement.


The Internet is one of the most promising but largely untapped tools for engaging the public on key civic issues. A recent project involving ten local television stations from around the country provides a wealth of lessons learned about how the media can use this new information technology to educate and energize the public.


Liberal Education as Moral Education (JEFFREY NESTERUK)
Questions of morality and ethics are almost always at the heart of complex political and civic issues. How can today’s increasingly diverse educational system encourage students to engage in their communities based on their ethical principles, but without favoring one position over another?