The Citizens League builds civic imagination and capacity in Minnesota by:
- Identifying, framing and proposing solutions to public policy problems;
- Developing civic leaders in all generations who govern for the common good; and
- Organizing the individual and institutional relationships necessary to achieve these goals.
To organize the means — the “civic infrastructure” — within the Citizens League and in Minnesota, to achieve the mission. “Civic infrastructure” refers to our ability to govern and solve problems for the common good in and across all institutions.
- We believe in human capacity: the power and potential of all citizens.
- We believe in democracy and good governance.
- We believe in civic leadership and active citizenship.
- We believe in good politics and political competence.
- We believe in institutional accountability: that all institutions must sustain these ideals from one generation to the next.
- Defining a problem: People who are impacted by a problem will help define the problem in keeping with our values.
- Demonstrating transparency and good governance: Leaders will establish transparent processes that expect all participants to engage in decision and policy making.
- Contributing resources: All participants will help to identify and contribute resources to address the problem.
- Sustaining solutions: All participants will help to advance and sustain recommended solutions in their institutions.
- Critical thinking to distinguish objective reality (facts) from subjective reality (interpretation)
- Open-ended questions to engage different perspectives
- Strategic listening to determine and clarify self-interest as it relates to common goals
- Suspending judgment to get divergent points of view
- Fostering constructive tension to highlight issues that need to be resolved
- Ability to negotiate and compromise while staying accountable to civic principles
- Holding self and others accountable for follow through on agreements
- The Citizens League Identity Statement was developed using the Civic Organizing Framework of the Minnesota Active Citizenship Initiative.