Politics and Civic Friendship by Elias Crim
A few years ago, I heard that our Valpo Mayor Jon Costas was recommending a book called Community, by Peter Block. I got myself a copy and found it full of great, even inspiring ideas toward a goal of community transformation, partly by pushing back on our terrible social isolation.
Here’s one of Block’s nuggets: Our goal in politics and civic life should be to transform citizen entitlement into citizen accountability.
Meaning: voluntary, enthusiastic accountability — another way of saying commitment to the community. I think a lot of our Valpo residents get this and practice it.
In other words: we need lots of what are called Strong Citizens, people who want to go beyond just passively belonging to a place to “co-owning” it. This sense of co-ownership is the most powerful form of what we call “civic engagement.”