September 6, 2002
NATIONAL CIVIC PARTICIPATION WEEK
MECKLENBURG COUNTY ENCOURAGES CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT
Charlotte, NC – Find where your interest lies, put your resources to work, and help strengthen government and civic life in Mecklenburg County.
That motivating message is one member of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) want residents to act upon during National Civic Participation Week, Sept. 11 – 17, designated by the U.S. Senate. The not for profit Participate America Foundation is promoting the week.
The Board voted on Wednesday to proclaim the week. Mecklenburg County will join the first-ever effort to mobilize millions of Americans to celebrate democracy and encourage civic responsibility. The week is also suppose to offer a way to remember and honor the people who lost their lives because of the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001.
National Civic Participation Week encourages four civic acts, according to its Web site,
· Volunteer – your time and talent to a cause or community group you are passionate about.
· Contribute – money and/or in-kind donations to worthy organizations or causes.
· Communicate – your ideas. Keep an open dialogue with local, state and federal government officials. Know where they stand on issues of concern.
· Vote – with knowledge, conviction and purpose.
Here are some ways to get involved during National Civic Participation Week in Mecklenburg County:
· The Primary Election – Although it happens one day before the week's official start, the Sept. 10, Primary in Mecklenburg County offers a perfect opportunity to fulfill one of the acts highlighted in the pledge to participate. Polls open Tuesday at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. Come out and vote.
· The Sept. 11 Commemoration – The free, public event at Marshall Park in uptown Charlotte is called "Together We Remember." The Wednesday, Sept. 11, event from 8:45 a.m. to 10:10 a.m. (the times the four Sept. 11 attacks occurred) is designed to give area residents an opportunity to honor those who died in the attacks, those who lost loved ones, survivors and responders. It will involve a public ceremony at Marshall Park from 8:45 to 10:10 a.m. which will feature musical selections, a moment of silence, and interfaith prayer and comments by government and community leaders.
· Mecklenburg Forum Live – Sept. 12, 8 to 9 p.m on WTVI and The Government Channel. Live, interactive television show gives Mecklenburg residents an opportunity to call in and ask questions of the Board of County Commissioners. The topic is Homeland Security.
· Mecklenburg County Public Library – All week, the main Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library will showcase a display and offer a bibliography of books about civic participation.
Find additional information about National Civic Participation Week, and the Participate America Foundation, at the Web site
www.participateamerica.org. For information about serving on BOCC appointed advisory committees, visit the County's Web site at
www.4citizenhelp.com. For information about holiday volunteer opportunities with the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services Community Resource Office, call 704-336-4809.