Local Forums

Be Local. Be Engaged. Be Excited.

White House Award

What is a Local Community Forum?

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Local Community Forums are public online community gathering places where you exchange community information and discuss local issues that matter to you. Participants use their real names and agree to be civil. This builds trust and helps build strong communities.

At the neighborhood level, "Neighbors Forums" build community and promote collaboration and problem-solving. At the larger, citywide level, discussions are more of a deliberative and in-depth online town hall meeting mixed with political banter.

Since 1994, we've led the way with volunteer-based online public spaces for open and inclusive civic and community engagement.

Neighbors/Neighbours Forums

E-Democracy hosts Local Community Forums in three countries — the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and the United States. Our "open source" and open approach seeks to generate knowledge we share widely. We seek to create forums that either conform to the service areas of local neighborhood councils, city boundaries, or are based on a strong sense of local identity.

We have three regional branded Neighbors/Neighbours Forums promotional pages:

Our special neighborhood inclusion efforts are funded and our lessons and stories are documented via our project blog, including this in-depth report.

Issues Forums

A dynamic community is one in which citizens’ interact and work together in a variety of constructive ways. Unfortunately, we all lead busy lives and it is not always convenient to attend a local meeting or interact with your local elected official. A Local Issues Forum provides an alternative means for you to contribute to the civic health of your community in a flexible manner.

E-Democracy Issues Forums date back to the 1994 launch of the statewide Minnesota Politics forum, and in 1998-99, the first local online town halls were formed in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Over the years, E-Democracy has become a trusted, neutral, nonprofit host of dialogue among people with differing views and backgrounds.

This diagram shows how many parties connect through the Issues Forums:

From the Archives: Issues Forums for Participants.

Community Forums in Minnesota

Resources to request or start a local forum.