The Local Democracy Initiative focuses on helping democracy thrive at the local level.

Join the Local Democracy Initiative for a webinar series that will address:

  • Local leadership on free and fair elections
  • Best practices for equitable voter participation
  • Building and maintaining trust in local government
  • Forging lasting partnerships with community-based organizations, and county and state governments

Connect with city and community leaders to gain key insights, share best practices, and access resources to help democracy thrive at the local level.

Ensuring LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Local Democracy

June 1, 2:00-3:00 PM ET

Following a leak of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion, there is renewed attention to the right to privacy foundational to many LGBTQ+ rights. At the same time, we’ve seen significant increases in the number of LGBTQ+ officials serving in local, state and national offices, many of whom will be on the ballot in 2022.

Join us on June 1 at 2:00pm ET as we celebrate the start of Pride Month by discussing the importance of LGBTQ+ inclusion in local democracy, special considerations for ensuring that LGBTQ+ voters are able to cast their ballots and how local leaders can create space for queer voices on local issues.

Upcoming Events

  • Tuesday, July 12 at 2:00 PM ET: Confronting Threats and Harassment Against Local Election Officials 
  • Tuesday, August 9 at 2:00 PM ET: Language and Disability Access at the Polls
  • Tuesday, September 13 at 2:00 PM ET: Get Ready, Get Set, Get Registered! Preparing for National Voter Registration Day 
  • Tuesday, October 11 at 2:00 PM ET: Native Voters and Native Voices in Local Government
  • Tuesday, December 13 at 2:00 PM ET: The Future of Elections

Previous Webinars

Common Ground and Creative Spaces for Civil Dialogue

Original event date: May 4, 2022 at 2:00-3:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

Amid high tensions around political issues and local initiatives, it often seems as though common ground is a thing of the past. But what unites residents is stronger than what divides them — we just need to find new ways to tap into that common ground. Discussed in this webinar is how, in a politically charged environment, it’s still possible to carve out space for dialogue through what links many people.

Library Outreach Day: Libraries as Essential Civic Spaces

Original event date: April 2, 2022 at 2:00-3:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

n April, NLC and experts from the American Library Association, Libraries as Bridges and the Kansas City Public Library celebrated Library Outreach Day by focusing on the essential role that libraries play in civic life. From ballot dropboxes and voter registration sites to venues for community dialogue, libraries sustain local democracy by bringing together residents of all ages, races, economic levels and partisan affiliations.

Confronting Voter Suppression: The Legacy and Future of the Voting Rights Act

Original event date: February 2, 2022 at 2:00-3:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

The Local Democracy Initiative marked Black History Month by looking at the history of voting rights and voter suppression in the United States. Discussed in this video is how local officials can talk openly and authentically about difficult subjects and the necessity of acknowledging historic trauma with respect to the vote. Also reviewed is the state of voting rights today and what local leaders can do to continue the critical work of leaders like John Lewis, Hosea Williams and Amelia Boynton. 

Combatting Disinformation and Rebuilding Trust in Local Government

Original event date: January 5, 2022 at 2:00-3:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

The Local Democracy Initiative discussed in this webinar the threat that mis- and disinformation poses to democratic principles. One year after an unprecedented attack on democracy, we convened to discuss the enormous challenges facing local leaders, how to start reestablishing trust with residents, and what we can do to encourage transparency and accountability.