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Springfield City Council president wants residents to join new effort to boost civic engagement

City Hall in Springfield, Massachusetts.
AlexiusHoratius
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City Hall in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The head of the Springfield City Council has launched an effort to increase civic engagement.

City Council President Jesse Lederman is looking for Springfield residents to volunteer for a new working group.

One of its goals is to figure out how to get more people actively engaged in the work of local government. Lederman said there are several topics it would be helpful to have the group explore.

"Our election turnout in local elections in Springfield is something we've wanted to work on increasing for some time," he said. "Certainly, we're seeing turnout in some local elections hover around 10%."

Lederman is hoping some people will express interest in working directly with their neighborhoods.

" We also want to see more individuals coming out to volunteer with our neighborhood councils and civic associations as well as serving on our local boards and commissions," he said.

Lederman said he's looking forward to seeing what the working group decides to prioritize.

He said he plans to have the members appointed by the end of September and have the group present its recommendations to the city council by end of the year.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education, and politics. Working with correspondent Morley Safer, he reported from locations across the United States as well as from India, Costa Rica, Italy, and Iraq.