The Key to Community Project provides adult learners, library literacy staff, volunteers and community partners with accessible information and peer-to-peer inspiration to increase participation in voting and other aspects of the Community Member role. A team of trained learner leaders helps develop and present workshops and lead conversations that help people Grow the Good in their Communities.

Read profiles of the leadership team and visit the Key to Community YouTube channel to hear their messages of inspiration. These slides share a summary of the FY 19-20 statewide training plus the project’s track record of increasing voter turnout.

Resources for Fall 2020:

  • The updated fall 2020 edition of the Key to Community Voting Participation Toolkit provides literacy program staff and tutors with strategies, key concepts, links and a complete workshop outline that can be adapted for classes and one-on-one tutoring sessions.
  • Looking for something shorter? Here is a one page summary of how to vote in this election.
  • Use this Key to Community week-by-week game plan between now and the November 3 General Election to help make sure your learners, tutors and partners have the information they need when they need it.
  • You can download the voting key concept slides to use or adapt for your own program.
  • To do a deeper dive on the propositions, download the What is on My Ballot Slides from the September 14 workshop. To understand how voting relates to the issues we each care about and different levels of government, download the Voting: You and Your Community Slides from the October 9 workshop.
  • Recordings from the August 27 Getting Ready to Vote, September 14 What is on My Ballot and October 9 Voting: You and Your Community workshops and additional video resources can be found at the Key to Community YouTube channel. 
  • Take a look at the October 27 roundtable discussion video sharing tips about how to vote and how to get quality nonpartisan information in the face of so many partisan political messages. Here is the link to the full video recording. If you have already voted, please jump to minute 33:00 to get inspired by the grassroots leaders of the Key to Community team who are reshaping our understanding of democracy, community leadership and how to Grow the Good in our Communities.
  • And don’t miss this all in one place list of links and resources this election.


This community education and voter education project is led by Common Knowledge and the learner leadership committee of the CLLS strategic planning team, Linda Sakamoto-Jahnke of Berkeley Public Library and Sabrina Rosengren of Placentia Library with additional help from literacy programs around the state. It is developed in partnership with adult learners in California’s library literacy programs.

The project updates the original Key to Community Voter Involvement Project that was co-created by Common Knowledge and California Library Literacy Services learner leaders in the 1990s and 2000s. It also updates past California Library Literacy Services nonpartisan civic education materials and shares them with learners, tutors, and staff along with the Easy Voter Guide. The Key to Community project dramatically increased voter turnout, and research shows that the peer-to-peer demystification and encouragement around voting was significant in changing behavior.

The Key to Community project is part of the Literacy Initiatives program which is supported in, in whole or in part, by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.