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Facing an Uncertain Future: Why Civic Infrastructure Helps Make Some Cities Better Prepared than Others

March 6th, 2018

Every community has a civic infrastructure. The National Civic Index is a powerful tool cities can use to analyze their civic strengths and weaknesses in solving problems and/or envisioning their future.

Aaron Leavy, the National Civic League program director, will discuss the Index and its continuing value for communities. The ten variables incorporated in the original Index – citizen participation; community leadership; government performance; volunteerism and philanthropy; intergroup relations; civic education; community information sharing; capacity for cooperation and consensus building; strategic long-range planning; and intercommunity cooperation – have changed a little since its first publication in 1987, but have proved essential in public conversation. The Index will be examined with special reference to our Inland Region. Don’t miss an exciting program about this invaluable tool.


Aaron Leavy’s curiosity and passion for learning from others help to drive his work at the National Civic League (NCL). As Program Director for Sustainability and Civic Engagement, he brings more than 15 years of experience in civic engagement, research and training.

Aaron develops community engagement materials, such as the All-America Conversations Toolkit, and serves as part of NCL’s community consulting team. Before joining the League, he worked in political campaigns, as a researcher for a polling and communications firm, and as Senior Manager for Innovation and Learning for the Harwood Institute. Aaron has a B.A. degree in politics from Oberlin College.

Aaron authored the book Why We’re Here: The Powerful Impact of Public Broadcasters When They Turn Outward. His recent presentations include:

  • Engaging the Public in a Hyper-Polarized World, Government Finance Officers Association Annual Conference
  • What Does Your Civic Capacity Have to Do with Reinvention? International City and County Managers’ Association National Conference