This article provides an overview of patterns of participation in community-based activism. In examining political participants' multiple roles and responsibilities as citizens it is argued that individuals are simultaneously constituted as activist, worker, and parent. It is assumed that the practice of these roles is, to some extent, shaped by gender. By looking qualitatively at individual histories we can see the everyday practice of citizenship, and how it is constructed by interplay between the agency of activists and changing possibilities for political participation. The empirical work for this article is based on case studies carried out with two community development organizations, one based in Sydney, Australia, and the other in Toronto, Canada. The main source of analytical material is in-depth interviews that were conducted with 40 male and female activists.