Communities Magazine: Politics in Community survey
From: Communities Editor (
Date: Sat, 24 May 2008 09:08:51 -0700 (PDT)
/Dear Communities magazine contributor,

If you live in a community of any type, you may be interested in responding to this email or passing it on. If so, I'll appreciate your help with this project. My apologies to those who have already received this message through another list. Please watch for the winter Call for Articles in a week or so. Thanks for your contributions!

For the fall issue of Communities magazine on "Politics in Community," I'm doing some interviews and email surveys of people in communities (of several different types), from which I'm hoping to derive either an article or a set of sidebars. I will be able to quote directly only a fraction of the responses I receive, but any answers will be valuable in shaping the article/sidebars. If you are willing, I'd appreciate responses to any of these questions--feel free to respond just to ones that inspire you, and please skip any which don't interest you or pertain to your group.

I'm not sure what form the final material will take, but a paragraph or two is probably the maximum answer (to any single question) that will be useful in this particular project, and a few sentences may often suffice, depending how much you have to say. You can specify "name withheld" and/or "community name withheld" if you prefer that what you say and/or the group you say it about remain anonymous. I am hoping to receive any responses by the end of this month (May 31, 2008), if possible--sooner would be even better.

Again, don't consider this a survey that you need to complete--instead, if you are so moved, just let it inspire you to answer a few of the questions. And feel free to forward it to others. Thanks very much!


Chris Roth
Incoming Editor, Communities

Politics in Community Survey*
Brief description of your group (community type, size, location, mission or defining purpose):

Your name and group's name, if you don't mind these being identified in article/sidebar:

Optional questions (answer any that grab you):/

How much does your group discuss external politics? Are there certain times and places when/where this does or doesn't occur? Is there an "etiquette" around it?

How would you characterize the range of political opinions in your group? How many people vote, and whom do they tend to support? How diverse is your group politically?

Do people tend to get involved in external politics on the local, state, national, and/or international level? If so, how?

Are there certain types of political viewpoints that wouldn't "make it" in your group, or that your group never attracts? If so, why do you think that is?

How much do you discuss internal politics as compared with external politics?

How do your internal politics resemble or differ from larger-scale external politics?

What are the roles of cooperation and competition in your group's internal workings and in its decision-making processes?

Are there ongoing power dynamics within your group that create challenges?

What are the biggest internal political issues in your group? What issues create the most controversy, or need to be dealt with the most? Are there core issues that lie behind the issues that tend to come up?

How much does your group focus on communication and interpersonal relationships? How does this affect the internal politics of your group?

How does living together influence your working relationships and shape how you deal with issues in your group?

Any other thoughts on the theme "Politics in Community" as it relates to your group?

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