May 2009 E-Democracy News – Volunteer of the Month

E-Democracy News


 May 2009 

Volume 1, Issue 5 


Volunteer of the Month: Sara Bergen


Local issues forum managers are perhaps the most unsung of the unsung heroes in online civic engagement. The task requires tremendous commitment, time and dedication. And volunteer Sara Bergen recently took the level of commitment to a whole new level, following the birth of her third son.

Bergen is the manager of the Powderhorn Neighborhood forum in Minneapolis. With a background in community planning, she began the group on Yahoo! nearly two years ago and moved the forum to E-Democracy.Org’s platform during a recent push to expand neighborhood forums in Minneapolis.

Bergen and the forum’s steering committee have cited goals focusing on connecting residents, building community relationships, and giving the community a voice in decision-making. In addition, the group commits to making the forum a place that is reflective of the community at-large – religiously, ethnically, and socio-economically.

E-Democracy.Org Board Chair David Woolley also serves on the forum’s steering committee. Woolley said he didn’t know Sara prior to the creation of the Yahoo! neighborhood group. He described her ability to manage any issues that arise on the forum as graceful and even-handed. He said she is intelligent, cheerful, friendly, and open-minded. And she employs a strategy while managing the forum that calms tempers, “a great talent to have,” Woolley said.

Every forum needs a booster, and Woolley noted Bergen’s ability to highlight the forum’s value to the larger community. “On election day last November, she took the opportunity to spend a few hours at the local polling place with her clipboard, talking to people about the neighborhood forum and getting quite a few of them to sign up for it,” he said.

And Bergen has shown she won’t let anything get in the way of making sure the forum runs smoothly – not even childbirth. As she was resting following her son’s birth recently, she was checking email and assuring other E-Democracy.Org volunteers that she had her eye on the forum and ready to jump in if necessary. Now that’s dedication!


7 thoughts on “May 2009 E-Democracy News – Volunteer of the Month”

  1. What great news! Congratulations, Sara! The accolades couldn’t have gone to a better person. I’m really happy to see this bit of praise for a job that is unsung, indeed. All the best on the birth of this new wee one, too.

  2. Thank you Sarah, for your woirk. I appreciate having the Powderhorn Forum as exchange for more local news than the Mpls Forum can provide.

  3. Sara is an outstanding asset to the neighborhood!

  4. Sara, we all appreciate your commitment to our well being here in Powderhorn, you have helped so many of us stay connected and informed.
    Your an inspiration.
    Thanks for everything!

  5. Hey Sara.Thanks for all you do. It is much appreciated; and with another addition to your household, I’m sure you have many other things to do. Thanks for fitting the neighborhood info into your routine. Congrats and I hope you’re getting sleep.


  6. Congratulations, Sara! You are such a fantastic part of our community and we appreciate all you do. Congrats on the new babe, too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *