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#410 Civic Engagement Under Quarantine


Alderwoman Maria Hadden

Meaningful civic engagement is a cornerstone of a healthy democratic society. A resident’s ability to access and influence their elected officials and public employees is a key part of engagement. There are many barriers to this access in the best of times as inequity is maintained by systemic structural faults like racism, classism, sexism and white supremacy. This is why working for the radical inclusion of people who are marginalized or the most impacted by decisions has become a best practice for governance. However, for those who work in this way, the pandemic has brought new challenges.

Tech solutions have supported continued human connection through the pandemic in a big way. Zoom, House Party, and other tools formerly relegated to niche audiences have become crossover applications for work, family and civic life. But the pandemic has also worsened the impacts and barriers caused by those systemic structural faults we deal with on a regular basis. Digital access and literacy gaps are more keenly felt than ever.

So how do we reach out and connect with people in our new reality when face to face outreach, door to door canvassing and in-person gatherings pose public health risks? In a time when isolation and fear are threat the foundation of our democracy, how do we practice robust civic engagement to bring us together and ensure community voice is heard?

ASL This event will not have an American Sign Language interpreter.