Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

May 4, 2023

Sec. of the State Thomas launches new program aiming to boost private-sector civic engagement

CT PUBLIC Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas, a Democrat, during a debate at the University of Hartford last fall.

The Secretary of the State is hoping to get more people engaged in their communities, and companies they work for have a key role to play in that effort through the launch of a new program.

Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas today announced the launch of the Civically Engaged Organization program, which invites businesses and nonprofits to commit to being civically engaged through a variety of means. In addition to active participation in community initiatives and events, businesses can participate in the program by educating their employees about civic awareness and how to get involved.

“When I think about a lot of my neighborhood businesses, they are engaged in the community, whether it's uniforms for Little League or volunteer cleanup events like I just saw on Earth Day — I see local businesses donating a lot of time and I see their employees getting involved,” Thomas said in an interview this week. “What if we marry that with civic education, and kick it up a notch so that people start to align those community activities with how you have a voice in your government.”

Connecticut-based organizations can become a Civically Engaged Organization (CEO) by agreeing to:

  • Email the secretary of the state office’s nonpartisan “Civics 101” document to staff and/or customers.
  • Note dates of elections in the office/workplace and/or in newsletters.
  • Give employees time off to vote on Election Days if their schedules don’t allow for before or after-hours voting.
  • Announce the organization’s commitment to civic engagement via email and social media.
  • Give employees time to volunteer in the community each year.
  • Email or post a polling place look-up tool for employees.

When an organization agrees to the pledge, they’ll receive a certificate and digital badge from the Secretary of the State’s office affirming their commitment. The pledge would be renewed annually, and companies can learn more about the program online.

Thomas said it’s important to increase education and awareness about elections, especially in Connecticut where elections in some communities are held almost annually in one form or another.

“A lot of people are confused when there are different types of elections, how to register, how to find their polling place or what a certain elected position does,” Thomas said.

According to Thomas, several companies and nonprofit organizations have already taken the pledge, including: Atheava Ayurveda; Grounded World LLC; Hospital of Central Connecticut’s Family Enrichment Center; Human Resources Agency of New Britain; Impact Growth Partners; New Britain ROOTS; Podorowsky Thompson & Baron; and Publish Your Purpose.

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF