Links to community organizations>>

Strategies to connect communities >>


The Active Community Environment is where we come together, voluntarily, and with good heart, in our neighborhoods, cities, regions, and states to get active for the common good. In a true community we don’t let race and economic differences divide us. We don’t let our ‘busy-ness’ keep us from civic engagement. We find the way, and the time, to speak out and act together.

Region-wide Communities in Action
Innovative, inclusive, region-wide policies get us away from the extreme ‘other side of the highway’ policies that have driven other communities apart over the last 50 years. David Rusk, a leading light in the ‘regionalist’ school of planning, has demonstrated in his research that, “mainstreaming poor minorities into middle class communities slashes crime and delinquency, boosts school performance, narrows the 'segregation tax' that minority homeowners pay in the value of their homes and eases fiscal burdens on city governments.”

It can be done. It has been done in economically successful, and demographically diverse communities such as Montgomery County, Maryland, Oak Park, Illinois and Madison, Wisconsin and here’s how they do it. People come together, hash out differences, and make their ideas known while putting aside narrow self-interest. They build neighborhood organizations. They set up email lists. They volunteer for commissions. They pester their elected officials. When the politicians fail their community, they run for office themselves. They get involved. As one Madison neighborhood activist put it, ‘If you don’t like where you live, don’t move—change it!”

Rusk rightly identifies that we are at a critical juncture in history: “Now civil rights and environmental activists are tentatively reaching toward each other to change the rules that divide American society by space and class.”