Civic engagement necessarily encompasses a spectrum of activities. It may take the form of direct community service that is informed by the root causes of social inequity. It may include activism, dissent, and protest; political action and campaigns; community organizing; non-profit work; issue advocacy; or public service at all levels of government.
Expanding government benefits of health and education is one thing. But we need to develop ideas that illustrate government "by" the people, not only "for" the people. How can we recover the idea that everyday citizens are supposed to be in charge, producers not only consumers, and government can be an empowering partner?
Republican candidates tend to ignore or actively incite fear of the growing Latino community. But Democrats also do a poor job of turning out Latinos in high numbers and, when in office, are unable to deliver on priority issues for the Latino community. Low voter turnout is a symptom of civic disengagement by Latinos in American society.