Research shows the level and quality of public discourse is a key factor in a community's ability to affect change. Recently conducted Extension research shows that a large proportion of residents do not feel engaged in community decision making. Extension works with a variety of community partners on a daily basis. Targeting programmatic resources in ways that would help improve the level and quality of public discourse could leverage the impact of the many Extension programs we conduct in cooperation with our community partners.
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Civittolo, D., & Davis, G. A. (2011). Strengthening Communities Through an Engaged Citizenry: Opportunities for Extension Programming. The Journal of Extension, 49(3), Article 11. https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/joe/vol49/iss3/11