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United Way of Lancaster County


Forum to examine civic engagement strategies

Top row, from left: Terrance Smith, Miriam Ortega Brown, Milzy Carrasco. Bottom row, from left: Laura Wood, Mayor Danene Sorace. (Sources: Provided | OUL)

Lancaster’s Hourglass Foundation is hosting a free forum Tuesday evening on how to engage more citizens in the democratic process.

The event is being held in partnership with Lancaster city government and the Bloomberg Center for Public Engagement at Johns Hopkins, and will feature the work of the city’s Department of Neighborhood Engagement.

The presentation will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Ware Center, 42 N. Prince St., Lancaster. It will be preceded by a reception at 5 p.m.

The program will consist of a keynote address from Terrance Smith, public innovation fellow at the Bloomberg Center; followed by an overview of the Department of Neighborhood Engagement and its work.

That will lead to a panel discussion with Smith and the following individuals:

  • Laura Wood, Leadership in Government Fellow, Open Society Foundations
  • Miriam Ortega Brown, organizer, West Lancaster Jewels neighborhood group
  • Milzy Carrasco, Director of Neighborhood Engagement, City of Lancaster

Mayor Danene Sorace will moderate the panel.

“Engagement is the heartbeat of a thriving community. In Lancaster, we are empowering our neighbors to shape the future of our community,” Sorace said.

Founded as the Office of Neighborhood Engagement early in Sorace’s first year as mayor, the agency became a city department last spring. It has grown to encompass a broad range of initiatives, including language access, the Office of Promotion, the Neighborhood Leadership Academy training program, Mayor’s Neighborhood Month and the Love Your Block grant program.

The forum is free, but pre-registration is required. To reserve tickets, click here.