Why You Should Show Up
at City Hall can make a difference
Miami has some of the lowest levels of non-electoral political participation in the nation.
In fact, Miamians attend public meetings and contact or visit elected officials far less frequently than residents in other metro areas according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. In Miami, only 3.1% of residents have ever attended a public meeting. Compare that number to Jacksonville, another Florida city, where 9.5% of residents have attended a public meeting.
There are various possible reasons for Miami’s comparatively low levels of participation, including population turnover, relatively young civil institutions, balkanized governance structure, and deep social fragmentation.
But, no matter the reason behind Miami’s low levels of engagement, anyone who does attend a public meeting is able stand out and really make a difference.
Sometimes it only takes 3 people with good arguments to improve local policies. Check back here for tips and best practices in public comment.
National Conference on Citizenship, A Tale of Two Cities: 2010 Civic Health in Miami and Minneapolis-Saint Paul, 2011.
Lou Frey Institute, Florida Civic Health, 2017.
Jan Nijman, Miami: Mistress of the Americas, 2011.
Mike Maciag, “The Citizens Most Vocal in Local Government,” Governing,7/2014.