Engaged communities are healthier and better at fixing problems.
Engage St Pete is a project implemented by the League of Women Voters of the St Petersburg Area and funded by the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg. The project seeks to support civic engagement in St Pete because civic health is vital to the overall health and well-being of our community. The project works to support the many forms of civic and community engagement – volunteerism, electoral participation and more – through research, collaborative partnerships, and innovative educational and design-thinking approaches.
Civic Health Study
Under the first phase of the project, the Engage St Pete Community Survey aims to produce a baseline measure of civic engagement in the City St. Petersburg by looking at a broad range of participation – from voting, to volunteering, to connecting with and supporting neighbors. The City of St. Petersburg received low ratings for civic engagement in a recent study, in part because there was no information available on things like volunteering. This information is important for community groups to know how best to help people work on issues that are important to them. The survey will help fill this gap and provide a better picture of how St Pete residents engage in their communities. The final report will be public so that the information can help all community organizations better support people to be heard and make change happen.
The initial round of survey data collection was from January 31 – March 8, 2019, and the survey received responses from over 1,200 residents from across all city zip codes. From mid-May to July 2019, focus group discussions were conducted and the preliminary survey results were presented to community organizations to hear their feedback. This community consultation process informed a second round of survey data collection in July-August 2019. If your organization or neighborhood is interested to participate in the community consultation process, please contact us at EngageStPete@lwvspa.org.
Engage St. Pete Report
The Engage St. Pete Report is now available for public use! Please download the report here (PDF): Engage St. Pete Report
Taking Evidence to Action
In the second phase of the project, the findings from the Civic Health Study will inform development of interventions to improve the civic health of our community. We will convene a collaborative group of key stakeholders with vested interest in civic engagement to support taking evidence to action in ways that address St Pete’s specific challenges and opportunities. If your organization is interested in joining the ENGAGE ST PETE COLLABORATIVE and being part of this process, please contact us at EngageStPete@lwvspa.org.
Throughout the project, we are also working to educate and engage community members:
- Democracy 101 events – such as panel discussions, civic engagement training, and “Hopped Up On Democracy” trivia/game nights – foster stronger understanding of democratic processes, current issues, and how to engage effectively
- Runaway Inequality workshops help individual and organizational stakeholders understand the impact of economic inequality on a broad spectrum of interconnected civic issues
- Students Driving Change high school and undergraduate student fellows have the opportunity to work with mentors and receive small grants to develop and implement their own civic engagement projects