When we say “citizen,” we are speaking not of documentation status but of the deeper ethical sense of being a member of the body, a contributor to community.

So what do citizens do? It’s not just about running for office. Strong citizens take responsibility for their community in small ways. They use the power they have to make things better. They reflect on their own mind and values, and they find ways to work together with others in service of the common good.

Anyone can choose to be a strong citizen. Citizens exhibit life-long civic skills and behaviors like learning, listening, serving, gathering, arguing, joining, circulating power, advocating, and voting. These habits are not just nice to have, they are crucial. If instead people chose to hoard resources, stay in their silos, be silent about things that matter, close their ears and hearts to one another, and act only in their own self interest, our democracy could not survive. Democracy requires citizens not just in name, but in action.

Explore what that could look like for you.