COEUR d’ALENE — The way we vote isn't simply a matter of checking boxes.
It depends on things like our age, our family status, whether we own a home and what we want to see happen in our society.
"We have to see voting as more holistic, that there are other factors involved in what makes a person be involved in their community," Jessica Mahuron, community organizer for the Civic Engagement Alliance, said Wednesday. “There are a lot of links to volunteerism and being involved with the community. If you're not connected to your community in some sort of way, why would you care enough to vote for someone who's running for city council?"
Mahuron was an ordinary community member until she was sparked to get involved in 2016.
"I felt like I had this calling that came to me," she said. "I started thinking more and more and feeling partially overwhelmed that I decided to focus my energies on the hyper-local level."
Mahuron wants to spark and cultivate that desire for involvement in others. From 6 to 8 this evening, the Civic Engage Coeur d'Alene Launch Party will be held in the Art Spirit Gallery at 415 E. Sherman Ave. Admission is free.
“This is a community-wide thing," she said. "Anyone who wants to see more youth involvement is highly encouraged to come. If someone's just curious, they are absolutely welcome to come."
Members of the Civic Engagement Alliance will share a glimpse of the organization's vision while guests enjoy wine, hors d'oeuvres and ambient music.
"It's going to be a place people can take the Civic Engagement Survey," Mahuron said.
The Civic Engagement Alliance’s mission is to generate grassroots community engagement for the common good. Through collaboration and partnership, it aims to organize nonpartisan, mission-driven campaigns to improve civic life.
Some of the group’s goals are: to collect more than 1,500 diverse survey responses to give insight to the larger community on what people care about locally; to increase efforts for voter registration and voting by mail; creation of a nonprofit directory to help recruit and match volunteers to meaningful work in the community; to lead the effort in creating an accessible and visual voter guide with partners for November 2020; and to bring the Civic Action Festival back to the community in 2020.