Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Register Now for the 2008 Boston Civic Summit

Earlier this year, Councilor Maureen Feeney, President of the Boston City Council, proposed to hold a civic summit to bring together the leaders and foot soldiers in our activist-friendly city. It sometimes seems like there are more civic organizations than people, particularly since some people seem to join dozens of groups.

The event will be held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in South Boston on Saturday, May 3rd from 8:15 am - 3:45 pm.

Gerta Dhamo, staffer for Councilor Feeney's office, wrote of the meeting:
The purpose of the event is to build a better city by working together on strengthening and promoting greater civic engagement and fostering dialogue between community groups. The summit will also provide current and prospective community leaders with tools, training and support to better exercise their important civic responsibility.

We welcome you to join civically engaged Boston residents, organization leaders, board members, as well as concerned citizen in this important community event and that you encourage your readers to attend as well. Attached you will find more information and a registration form. You can also visit our website at
When Councilor Feeney originally proposed the idea back in January 2008, she envisioned something big:
Feeney said she wants to invite every neighborhood and business group, parent-teacher organization, and crime-watch group in the city as well as residents unaffiliated with any group, and even those who are not civically engaged at all.

The one-day gathering would be akin to a congress, where people could voice their concerns and hopes for the future of the city, a forum for innovative ideas and finding common ground, she said.

She pitched the idea to BlueMassGroup, an online discussion forum for Democrats and progressives. She didn't get much of a response -- 1/3 of the comments posted were by Don Saklad.

The idea apparently didn't go over very well with Mayor Thomas Menino, "who said the needs in each neighborhood are different and should be addressed separately," according to the Boston Globe.

The registration form (PDF) can be found here. The information says to register by April 25th.

Boston Globe (1/7/08): "City Councilor Feeney unveils plans for one-day, citywide gathering"
Boston Globe's City Weekly: "Michael Jonas: Shout it from the summit: Activists needed"
Boston Globe Editorial: "Boston misses the call"
Letter to the Editor of the Boston Globe: "Letters: Give local leadership a break: Feeney's an inspiration"; "Letters: To those in the know: Status quo must go"

Image from "redjar" through a Creative Commons license.

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