Offer "pledges" for small, socially useful tasks
There are lots of little tasks that would benefit communities as a whole, but often the people with time to do them don't have the motivation, and vice versa.
Suggest setting up some kind of service/mailing list similar to either Pledgebank, Mechanical Turk, or Freecycle, which lets citizens list small local tasks they'd like to see, and a small reward (possibly non-monetary?) for successful completion.
- Videoing a local council meeting
- Transcribing a local council meeting
- Creating a list of local facilities relating to something
- Clearing up litter in a field
- Painting a wall
- etc etc
The tricky part is probably how to reward people - maybe non-monetary rewards (local currency? reputation?) would avoid various troubles, but need more thought on that - discussion welcome!