Strong institutions and democratic governance demand deliberative decision making. It implies an enormous amount of coordination among a wide variety of actors responsible for solving for and affected by civil problems. One crucial stakeholder in strengthening democratic and participatory practices in local democratic governance is active citizenry. Active citizenry enhances transparency and accountability of city governments and creates a greater sense of agency, collective understanding, and ownership among citizens on the governance issues that affect their cities/towns. Further, community leadership is critical to building ownership of issues at the local level. This ensures that policies, regulations, and procedures crafted by decision makers are demand driven and not supply led. The panelists will discuss the role of community leaders and active citizens in fostering an environment of participation at the Ward and Area Sabha committees.