Hamline News

Hamline Alum Partners with Professor Schultz on Community Assemblies Project

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 In July, Hamline announced that the university received nearly $500,000 in grants from the Joyce Foundation and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to help fund Professor David Schultz’s Citizen Assemblies project. Now, joining Schultz in this project is the Jefferson Center, a nonprofit, nonpartisan civic engagement and public policy organization led by executive director, and Hamline alumnus, Kyle Bozentko ’07.

“As Minnesota communities grow and evolve we believe community members themselves should guide the process of local government reform,” Bozentko said of the Community Assemblies project. “This initiative taps into the wisdom of local residents so that municipalities reflect their values and priorities. We are delighted to partner with Hamline University and ForgeWorks on this vital effort to give community members a clear voice in shaping the future of municipal governance and elections.”

Bozentko graduated from Hamline in 2007 with a double major in political science and religious studies. His role at the Jefferson Center helps further the organization’s work to engage Americans in solving shared challenges in order to craft better policy. The center’s mission is to strengthen democracy by advancing informed, citizen-developed solutions to challenging public issues.

The Jefferson Center will use a $100,000 grant from the Joyce Foundation to design, convene, and moderate groups of demographically-balanced Minnesotans in communities across the state to prioritize meaningful local reform on governance and electoral systems. Professor David Schultz will use nearly $500,000 in grants from Joyce Foundation and the Hewlett foundation to coordinate the project and develop research related to the impact and potential for local government reform through citizen deliberation and engagement. ForgeWorks will utilize a $100,000 grant from the Joyce Foundation to develop educational materials and an online engagement platform for the effort.

You can read more about the Citizen Assemblies project on the Hamline website