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The National Civic League (NCL) is increasing the capacity of American residents to fully participate in and build healthy and prosperous communities across America. NCL is expert at the science of local government, the art of public engagement, and the celebration of the progress that can be achieved when people work together.
Best known for the All-America City Awards, NCL was founded 119 years ago by a young Theodore Roosevelt and others. An early promoter of the city manager profession, the council-manager form of government is the foundation of the Model City Charter, now in its 8th edition and 85th year. NCL spotlights best practices in its award-winning journal National Civic Review, now in its 101st year of continuous publication. In the 1990s, NCL reinvented itself as a civic engagement incubator and focused all of its technical assistance, research, and publications on civic engagement.
NCL defines civic engagement as giving people unique opportunities to identify their community assets, address challenges, break down silos, and energize people to dream and take action. John W. Gardner, NCL former board chairman described civic engagement as “unleashing the human potential.” NCL supports democratic processes that create high-performance local governments. With academic partners, NCL conducts ground-breaking research on local government practices including fiscal sustainability leadership.
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