Category: Civic Engagement

Resource Category Topic Type
"Supporting Youth Supporting Community" A NH Listens Summary Report
The Milton School District, along with a group of community members, teachers, and local civic leaders, worked with New Hampshire Listens to design a community conversation on the best way to support the young people of Milton to grow, thrive, and succeed.
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
Accomplishments, Challenges, and Lessons Learned: 2010 - 2015
This report summarizes the work of NH Listens since our inception over five years ago. The report is organized around the core elements of our three-part mission, which are to create engaged community conversations on local and statewide issues, to serve as a resource and support network for new Local Listens groups, and to cultivate a network of facilitators for public engagement and action.
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
All Walks of Life: A Statewide Conversation on Mental Health
On November 14th, 2013, a consortium of organizations and interests sponsored All Walks of Life: A Statewide Conversation on Mental Health and Substance Abuse. Over 300 New Hampshire residents met in six different locations across the state to talk about their priorities, concerns, and ideas regarding mental health and substance abuse in New Hampshire. At the outset, the goals of this conversation were related both nationally and statewide.
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
Building Trust, Increasing Safety: Assuring Mutual Understanding and Trust Between Community Members and Police Officers
Police and community members in the communities of Rochester, Durham, and Dover spent three hours in each location discussing how to encourage mutual understanding and trust between communities and police. Participants from law enforcement and individuals from local neighborhoods worked together to reframe community problems as social issues where both community members and police play a role in problem solving. Participants expressed a desire for police departments that are to be community oriented, culturally sensitive, and act with equity and accountability. In turn, the community should take responsibility to communicate with the police, act responsibly, and formally and informally mentor youth. Participants expressed a willingness to communicate, build relationships, and educate each other in order to accomplish goals of mutual understanding and trust in their communities.
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
Deerfield Safety Service Needs: Finding a Way Forward
Participants at the conversation on the future of safety services for Deerfield expressed a range of perspectives, all of which were recorded by facilitators. Over about two hours, seven small groups―each with a trained facilitator―identified the most important issues. The summary below and the small group notes reveal strong overall themes as well as a rich collection of specific ideas. Included in the conversation were some of the ways residents of Deerfield enjoy the rural, historic, small-town character of their town where one can know the names of police officers and neighbors, and get involved in community service and decision making. The primary themes that stood out across groups and conversations included a realization that the status quo is not an option, a desire for a “Yankee solution,” and the need for ongoing engagement and information sharing.
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
Early Childhood Community Engagement: How can New Hampshire be the best place for all children and their families to play, learn, and grow?
In the first few years of a child’s life, hundreds of neural connections form in the brain. When children engage with and receive thoughtful responses from adults, they form strong relationships that bolster healthy growth. Creating conditions (in the home, at school/child care, and in the community) that promote robust brain development and reduce toxic stress early on is likely to be more effective and less costly than healing the effects of adverse experiences later in life. Families of all backgrounds and incomes can benefit from carefully woven supports across public and private services that foster strong starts for children, spanning prenatal wellness to early learning and family engagement.
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
Facilitating Vulnerability and Power in New Hampshire Listen’s “Blue and You ”
This study examines the on-going work of New Hampshire Listens, a convener of deliberative conversations, specific to their work with police-community relationships. Attending particularly to the facilitators and planners of New Hampshire "Blue and You" in a small city, the study found systemic practices of early stakeholder involvement in the planning, holding space for disparate views, promoting storytelling, and creating intimate physical spaces addressed the vulnerability felt by participants. These practices distributed power among stakeholders, aided in preparing participants for the conversation, and fostered neutrality in the forum. They provide several ideas for ho
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
Forging the Future: Community Leadership and Economic Change in Coös County, New Hampshire
Author Michele Dillon conducted a case study of community change in Coös County, New Hampshire, for two-and-a-half years (June 2009-December 2011) to investigate how local community leaders in Coös assess the initiatives, challenges, opportunities, and progress in the North Country during this time of economic transition.
New Hampshire Civic Engagement, Community, Economic Development, Leadership, New Hampshire Publication
Good Neighbors: A Community Conversation to Strengthen City-College Connections and Relationships
During the winter and spring of 2015, the Keene College/City Commission worked with NH Listens to design a community conversation that would focus on one of the four priorities identified by the Commission in 2014— citizenship. As stated in its working charge, the Commission was established with, “the goal of improving the quality of life for residents, students, employers, and visitors while recognizing the diverse needs of varied demographic groups, the unique characteristics of our City, and the opportunities that exist for collaboration across organizational boundaries.” In the near future, the College/City Commission will also be addressing the other priorities contained in its charge—housing and neighborhoods, infrastructure and parking, and property/tax base issues.
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
Granite State Future: Regional Themes
This executive summary provides an overview of the process and results of an extended public engagement process conducted by New Hampshire Listens of the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire and the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, on behalf of the nine Regional Planning Commissions (RPCs) in New Hampshire. The work was carried out under contract with the Nashua RPC, using Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant funds administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The primary purpose of the public engagement process was to elicit a wide range of views from diverse residents of New Hampshire, representing all geographic regions of the state, to the question: How can we make our community the best place to live, learn, work, and play?
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
Is Granite State Government as Efficient, Transparent and Innovative as It Can Be?
The New Hampshire Governor’s Commission on Innovation, Efficiency, and Transparency in State Government was established by Governor Hassan in 2013. In June of 2014, the Commission contracted with NH Listens to host conversations around the state with citizens, state employees, and vendors to gather information about ways to improve state government functions, with a particular focus on the executive branch agencies that carry out legislative mandates. The focus of each conversation was different based on attendees. At the public conversations, any interested New Hampshire resident was welcome to attend and share his or her view. These conversations were held on June 3rd in Conway, Manchester, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Warner, and Whitefield. At the state employee conversations, both held in Concord on June 24th and 26th, employees from a variety of state agencies attended. Finally, the vendor conversation held in Concord on June 23rd was attended by a range of business and nonprofit representatives from New Hampshire and elsewhere
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
It Takes a Community: Civic Life and Community Involvement Among Coös County Youth
This brief explores the extent to which Coös County youth are involved in a variety of civic-related activities, with particular attention to the demographic and attitudinal factors associated with such participation. Author Justin Young reports that approximately 75 percent of Coös County youth report involvement in at least one type of civic-related activity.
New Hampshire Civic Engagement, Community, Coös Youth Study, New Hampshire, Young Adults Publication
Milton Youth Voice Day Summary
On December 16th, 2014, all Nute students and staff participated in small group conversations focused on giving input to the school and town about what it is like to live, learn, work, and play in Milton. The students learned that in the October conversation with parents, teachers, and community members, many of the adults talked about: Needing to communicate better among the town, schools, and parents , Providing more opportunities for kids to get involved including and beyond sports and Making sure that anyone struggling knows where to go for help.
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
New Futures: Community Conversations on Drugs and Alcohol
In February and March of 2014, residents from across the state of New Hampshire gathered to discuss issues related to substance use and addiction in the Granite State. Fifteen groups met in nine regions of the state including Berlin, Derry, Keene, Laconia, Lebanon, Manchester, Nashua, Rochester, and Portsmouth. In addition, a conversation with business leaders about substance use in New Hampshire took place on May 20, 2014. One hundred and fifty-four New Hampshire residents met to talk about their priorities, concerns, and ideas related to substance use and addiction in New Hampshire. The goals of the conversations were to: Encourage ongoing community conversation about substance use in New Hampshire, Learn more about how New Hampshire residents understand the scope of use and misuse (of substances) in New Hampshire and Inform New Futures planning over the next three to five years.
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
New Hampshire Civic Health Index (co-pub with the National Conference on Citizenship)
The Carsey Institute is participating in a national study to examine America's civic health. Led by the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), America's Civic Health Index is an annual study that measures a wide variety of civic indicators, such as community involvement and helping others. New Hampshire is one of six states partnering with NCoC to produce a state-specific report that examines the civic health in the Granite State.
New Hampshire Civic Engagement, New Hampshire Publication
NH Beverage Alcohol Summit: July 2016, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
In July of 2016, over seventy-five people attended the NH Beverage Alcohol Summit at the Mt. Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. Commercial stakeholders initiated the summit, but attendees included stakeholders across the industry including members of the NH State Legislature, the NH Liquor Commission, the NH Department of Resources and Economic Development, the prevention and treatment community, NH beer distributors, retailers, and manufacturers of beer, wine, and liquor. The purpose was three-fold to discuss priorities for the industry across a variety of viewpoints, identify actions for mutual benefit among industry players, and set the stage for future decisions and growth for positive impact in the NH beverage industry.
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
NH Blue and You: Dover Creating Community Change Through Connection
Over ninety people from the community squeezed into Flight Coffee for a conversation about community- police relations in Dover. Participants with a range of ages, races, and educational backgrounds were represented at this event. Attendees’ final recommendations and key areas of concern can be used by decision makers to inform next steps, as well as prioritize issues that were identified in a process that promoted democratic deliberation and lifted the community voice. At a time when relationships between communities and their police departments are strained, the Dover community took proactive steps to increase engagement and invite shared problem solving.
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
NH Outdoor Recreation Report
The goal of these community conversations was to create an opportunity for citizens to share their thoughts on the challenges, opportunities, issues, and needs relating to local and state outdoor recreation. Special emphasis was placed on hearing citizen’s views about unmet needs and innovative approaches to meeting those needs. While the community conversations were open to all, additional outreach was focused on those with limited use of outdoor recreation resources for reasons of access, age, income, or knowledge
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
Pembroke Listens: What considerations are most important to the Pembroke Hill Road intersection?
The goal of these community conversations was to create an opportunity for citizens to share their thoughts on the challenges, opportunities, issues, and needs relating to changes to an intersection with a history of accidents and assessments for change. An emphasis was placed on hearing citizen's views about unmet needs and innovative approaches to meeting those needs. The community conversations were open to all.
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication
Pittsfield Listens: Strong Schools, Strong Community
In December of 2010, the Pittsfield School District received a one-year planning grant from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation to support the transformation of our middle high school from a traditional school to a student-centered learning environment. The School District has recognized that the Pittsfield Schools, particularly the Middle High School, need to improve learning outcomes for all students, increase graduation and college-attendance rates, and create a student-centered learning environment that is motivating, engaging, and responsive to the individual needs of each student. Pittsfield is the only community in New Hampshire to receive one of these highly competitive grants.
New Hampshire Listens Civic Engagement Publication