We are putting together an association called the Hopewell Valley Civic Trust (HVCY) to develop a more coordinated approach to community involvement in Hopewell Borough, Hopewell Township, and Pennington Borough referred to here as the community of Hopewell Valley. The trust will give citizens of Hopewell Valley a chance to create the kind of democratic citizen involvement that gives any community the power to make make improvements happen, solve the community’s problems and secure a bright future. Without effective community involvement citizens voices are separate and therefore relatively small, but with a whole community response to issues and problems Hopewell Valley citizens’ voices can get bigger and stronger and Hopewell Valley’s people power in democracy will grow.
We will be working with the New Jersey Citizen’s Campaign which is setting up civic trusts in cities across the nation including Philadelphia, PA and Oakland, CA. The Hopewell Valley Trust will be comprised of any citizen of Hopewell Valley that wants to improve Hopewell Valley and cares enough to join and participate in HVCT. Citizen members can also include Hopewell Valley Regional High School students as voting members of the HVCT. Membership applications are available on the Web at democracybuilding.org or by request at HVCT PO Box 496 Pennington, NJ 08534.
Other communities that have created similar associations have been able to improve community engagement that have accomplished many projects and solve community problems benefitting their communities, such as improving their civic cultural life, improving the services in their business community, building political power to accomplish important community projects, creating healthier physical environments and supporting positive responses to social environments as well as establishing support for state-wide and national issues such as improving responses to global warming and saving environmentally sensitive areas. Essentially, the idea is to create a community that works together to address important issues and solve community problems by empowering the citizens of the community with the most effective use of democracy possible.
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