Volunteers building gazebo

Keys To Success

The civic health of every community – urban or rural – depends on the involvement of its citizens. But during the past 20 years, America has experienced a steady decline in volunteering and other key forms of civic engagement. We sign fewer petitions, join fewer clubs and organizations, know less about our neighbors, see friends less often, and even spend less time connecting with our own families.

Is the town of Union immune to these national trends? Or is it merely a matter of time until external pressures find their way to this rural community? When Union's "Greatest Generation" (the World War II generation) volunteers die, will a younger generation be willing to shoulder the responsibilities?

Factors & Forces

What are the factors that have the greatest influence on civic participation? And can the national trends be reversed?
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Portland: An Urban Story

Like Union, most rural towns still experience fairly high levels of civic involvement. The exact opposite is true in every major American city – except Portland, Oregon.
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