We love Miami County and we need to understand our story in all of its complexity.

Civic Capacity is a different approach to local news. Together, we do go deeper to learn more about the decisions shaping our communities

By asking and answering questions, digging into your ideas, informing the public about decisions that have been made or will be made, the work of Civic Capacity becomes more useful to our entire community.

We look for solutions by informing our residents

Our community belives that together we can come up with sustainable and collaborative solutions to our community’s most pressing issues. Together we discover and learn the different tools and different ideas our governments are discussing to make our communities stronger and more resilient.

We inform residents and get them involved in local government.

We let you know about big upcoming decisions in local government and how to make your voice heard. We love to break down complex issues and make them digestible.

Our information is free.

We strive to serve a broader range of Miami County residents than any other local media outlets. To strengthen our community, local news should be accessible to everyone, not just those who can afford it. Our insights and analysis are written and produced with you in mind — easy to consume and easy to understand.

We are supported by you.

We believe that we are providing a valuable service and we are always grateful for those individuals that make a contribution to this project. Your contributions help get the word out about our project.


We produce fair and accurate stories that explain the decisions made in our hometowns here in Miami County.


When our community is watching and engaged in our local government, our needs are addressed, government works better and our community is stronger.


We value integrity, transparency, public trust, and quality over quantity. We aim for truth, depth, context and analysis rather than virality, online engagement and speed.

Our principles

  1. We seek the truth without fear or favor. Our effort is independent. No donor, grantor, sponsor or advertiser of Civic Capacity has weighted influence on or early access to any journalism we produce.

  2. We will be honest with our readers. Too many times stories are told not to set out a set of facts, but rather to set forward a narrative. Such style is easily recognizable and it insults our readers.

  3. Accuracy, rigor and fairness come before speed and style. Our stories give context and explanations. We want to foster informed, healthy discourse. We’re not after your clicks. We’ve designed our project so that our community comes first.

  4. Locals come first. We want to support Miami County, since Miami County supports this effort.

What is Civic Capacity?

Civic capacity refers to the collective ability of individuals, communities, and institutions within a society to effectively and actively participate in civic affairs, contribute to public decision-making processes, and collaborate towards the betterment of their community or society as a whole.

It is a concept that encompasses the knowledge, skills, resources, and networks necessary for individuals and groups to engage in meaningful civic actions, such as voting, advocacy, community organizing, volunteering, and problem-solving. It involves fostering a sense of civic responsibility, promoting inclusivity, and cultivating a shared understanding of our community and the common good.

Civic Capacity plays a crucial role in strengthening our community.

Why a newsletter?

It has become clear that there are few, if any, media outlets where individuals can get insights and analysis on the activities that are happening in their community. There is always a way to find out “what” is happening and a laundry list of events to keep the social calendar filled. But there are almost no voices that are trying to clearly explain “why” things are happening. That is what makes Civic Capacity different; it’s not enough to simply report what is happening, the value is in to help people understand why it matters to them and to their families.

The ethos of Civic Capacity is that a well-informed population can help shape better discussions on items for public discussion and in turn, creates better public policy on a local level.

Our friends and neighbors that want to get involved need to understand what is happening in their community. Voting and participaing in campaigns is one way to do that, but the work of the community continues to move and decisions are still needing to be made. How can we make sense of those decisions of what is happening in our community if we don’t have a place to ask honest questions and get honest answers. This newsletter will strive to do that.

It is also being clear that there is a very low measure of leadership in city government. I had recently been a candidate for Mayor here in Troy and on the campaign trail, I saw first hand, many of the groups and institutions in our community that are working to make our hometown a better place each and every day. We have seen how enviornmental concerns in other communities in our county has undermined confidence in local leadership.

This is where true leadership in our community lives. Frankly, as political leadership becomes less centered on guiding principles, people will stop looking to polticial leaders as….leaders. Other institutions and people will fill that void. This is a place to celebrate and hear from those individuals.

Finally, we will talk about what principles and values we need to promote and celebrate as a community. We will talk about what we want in leadership at all levels and challenge ourselves to better leaders in the home, in the workplace and in the community.

This newsletter seems like a logical first step, but certainly not the last. As I believe this effort will grow, more people will speak into this and we will find new ways to reach a wider audience. Perhaps a podcast or a video series. Maybe in person events. There are really no limits on what we can accomplish, but we have to start somewhere.

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Through thoughful discourse and analysis we are engaging people in ideas about what is happening in Troy, Ohio and surrounding communities with the goal of growing civic capacity.


William Lutz is President and Founder of Pinnacle Strategies, Ltd., and creator of the Pinnacle Strategies and Civic Capacity newsletters on substack.