Forum Explores Demographic Impact 12/10

What: Forum Explores Effects of Changing Demographics on Civic Participation “Why Bother? Engaging Our Changing City”
When: 7-9 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 10
Where: Austin Community College’s Eastview campus, Multipurpose Hall (Room
8500), 3401 Webberville Road.
RSVP: This event is free and open to the public. RSVP here

The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication, KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, and KUT 90.5 FM are hosting a community conversation to explore the effects of changing demographics on civic participation in Central Texas. “Why Bother? Engaging Our Changing City” is the second event in a yearlong news and public dialogue series organized by the hosts.

“As Austin grows and thrives, our city is becoming more diverse, but this diversity isn’t reflected among citizens who vote,” said Regina Lawrence, director of the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life. “This forum will explore ways to get everyone engaged in our city’s future.”

KUT News Reporter Joy Diaz will host the event. Juan Castillo, senior reporter for the Austin American-Statesman, will share recent demographic trends in Austin from the 2010 census. Chantel Bottoms, senior research analyst at Community Action Network, will present voter turnout data for Travis County. Participants will then join small roundtable discussions to explore how to expand community engagement as the city continues to grow and change.

This community event is organized in partnership with Austin Community College’s Center for Public Policy and Political Studies.

Background: Sponsored by the Strauss Institute for Civic Life, KLRU and KUT 90.5 FM, the “Why Bother? Engaging Texans in Democracy Today” series aims to get people talking about why Texas has one of the lowest rates of civic participation in the country, and what can be done about it.

Future public dialogues next spring will address how citizens can make their voices heard in the Texas Legislature and how to involve Austin residents in city government
and planning. For more information about the series and the civic engagement crisis in Central Texas, visit whybothertexas.org.

About the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life
Created in 2000 to respond to growing political cynicism and disaffection in the United
States, the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life is named for Annette Greenfield
Strauss: former Dallas mayor, community leader and philanthropist. The Institute
envisions a democracy where all citizens are informed, vote and are actively involved in
improving their communities. Through nonpartisan research, education and outreach, the Institute seeks to understand and overcome obstacles to civic engagement. To learn more, visit us online at http://annettestrauss.org.

About The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication
One of the nation’s foremost institutions for the study of advertising and public relations, communication sciences and disorders, communication studies, journalism and radio-TV-film, The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication is preparing students to thrive in an era of media convergence. Serving more than 4,600 undergraduate and graduate students, the College is nationally recognized for its faculty members, research and student media. For more information about the College of Communication, visit http://communication.utexas.edu.