Our community’s “Civic Health” is in trouble, but there’s a lot each of us can do to turn things around. It starts by asking some hard questions about how engaged and connected are we to each other as a community, and identifying some practical strategies to improve our civic participation as individuals, and in the groups and organizations of which we are a part.
Alberto Olivas, a trainer and researcher on civic engagement models, explains why we’re reaching historic low points in terms of our civic engagement as a society, and steps we all can and should take to reverse this trend.
Alberto is the Founding Executive Director of the Congressman Ed Pastor Center for Politics & Public Service at Arizona State University, an initiative to help students learn the skills for effective civic and political engagement. Apart from this role, Alberto provides training and technical assistance on issues related to public dialogue, public engagement and civic education.
Previously, Alberto served in appointed leadership positions for Arizona Governor Jane Dee Hull, as Director of the Governor’s Office for Equal Opportunity; and as State Voter Outreach Director for Arizona Secretary of State Betsey Bayless. Governor Janet Napolitano appointed Alberto to the Arizona Commission of Indian Affairs.
Alberto serves on the board of directors for Public Agenda, a national civic and public engagement organization. He recently completed a term as Board Secretary for the National Civic League; and served on the board for Democracy Works, a national civic technology organization. Locally, he serves on the Court Leadership Institute of Arizona for the Arizona Supreme Court, and as Vice Chair of the Arizona Town Hall board of directors. He previously has served as past board chair for KidsVoting Arizona, and on the boards of directors for Valley Leadership, the Arizona Human Rights Foundation, the Mesa Association of Hispanic Citizens, and the Newtown Community Development Corporation.