Civic engagement is when people from a community work together to make a difference for the greater good of the community. It can be accomplished through political and nonpolitical methods, and focuses on developing knowledge, skills, values and motivation to get people involved.
Examples of civic engagement include an individual volunteering his time at a soup kitchen, an organization hosting a public clothing drive or a group hosting an educational summit on how drugs and crime are interrelated. Any time a community comes together to be a source of change, it's civic engagement.
Part of the philosophy of civic engagement is that a well-rounded citizen should recognize that he is part of the whole community, not apart from it. This recognition can encourage him to partake in different civic actions including voting, seeking reform and bettering the state of the public.
Civil engagement is extremely important at the local government level. It gives lawmakers the opportunity to build trust in the community and use community members to help address issues and inspire change. When communities and local government work together, they can easily move toward the common goal of solving problems, reforming policies and making the community a better place.