1. Read and/or watch your local news. It may seem simple, but it's easy to get caught up with bigger news stories that circulate and forget about what's happening in your neighborhood. You can access current and past articles on NewsBank, under the Research It section of our website. NewsBank provides articles from the Kirkwood-Webster Journal, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and more.

2. Know your locally elected officials. When you know who your elected officials are, you can stay informed on what policies they are putting forward and contact them if you are in support/opposition of those policies. You can do a search for your state and local elected officials here as well as their websites and contact information. Don't be afraid to reach out to your local officials as they are meant to represent you and your community.

3. Participate in jury duty. No one looks forward to jury duty, but it is an important opportunity and right we have to be directly involved in our country's justice system. Someone being tried in court has the right to be tried by a jury of their peers. The jury is meant to give an unbiased and fair perspective of their trial. Links will be provided below about St. Louis County and City procedures for jury duty.

4. Get involved with an organization. Ask yourself what you are passionate about rather than trying to tackle everything at once. Find an organization that reflects your passion and volunteer or figure out how to support them. You can check out this resource here to find local organizations.

Involvement on a local level is needed right now given the Covid-19 pandemic. You can find more volunteering opportunities on our website here.

5. You can strengthen your community by attending town hall meetings and city councils, getting your friends and neighbors involved in volunteering and community engagement, and even something as simple as checking up on your neighbors. Check out an article here giving a large list of things you can do to boost civic engagement on a smaller scale.

As citizens, we have both a right and responsibility to get involved and be informed with what is happening in our community and beyond. There are issues that exist in every community such as hunger, homelessness, poverty, lack of access to resources and safety, etc. improving those issues by communicating with local officials and volunteering helps make our world a better place to live in not only for ourselves, but those around us.

Local resources to explore:

City Council of Kirkwood

St. Louis County Government

St. Louis City Government

St. Louis County Jury Duty

St. Louis City Jury Duty

*These include information about what your local governments are currently doing, contact information, councils and council committees meeting schedules, and more.

St. Louis County Voting

St. Louis City Voting

St. Louis Volunteering

Mariah Pugliese is a Reference Librarian at the Kirkwood Public Library. When not at the library, she enjoys reading and writing sci-fi/fantasy and taking care of her 25+ houseplants who are all named after fictional characters in literature.

This press release was produced by the Kirkwood Public Library. The views expressed are the author's own.

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