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January 14, 2008

citizens at work

(Syracuse Airport) Public Agenda's president, Ruth Wooden, writes, "Neither Third-Party Candidate nor Leadership Alone Can Solve the Problem." The "problem" that she has in mind is destructive partisanship, but one could define it more generally as dysfunctional politics. Fortunately, some citizens are at work organizing public deliberation and public-spirited advocacy during this campaign season.

Public Agenda itself is an example. The organization "advocates for a greater reliance on public dialogue to come to agreement on difficult issues." As Wooden writes, "Until leaders invest trust in the American people, create more opportunities for average citizens to explore issues from multiple points of view and help them confront the facts of our nation's greatest challenges through dialogue, our government will remain shackled by political maneuvering and gamesmanship." Check out the Public Agenda "Primer on Public Engagement."

Mobilize.org just pulled off its Party for the Presidency, a gathering of 150 young people from around the United States who developed the "Democracy 2.0 agenda" to guide their advocacy over the next year. See this coverage in the Huffington Post.

The Study Circles Resource Center, a key organization in the movement for deliberative citizenship, is about to relaunch itself as "Everyday Democracy." As one of many activities connected to the relaunch, the Center is starting an Everyday Democracy Book Club, run by Frances Moore Lappé.

And then there's the November Fifth Coalition, which is gearing up for a significant statement about how you can be involved.

January 14, 2008 3:18 PM | category: none


Hi Peter,

Thanks very much for mentioning the Everyday Democracy Book Club launching this Thursday, January 17, at www.democracyspace.org.

I just want to clarify that Frankie Lappé will indeed be our first guest, discussing her new book Getting a Grip. But she won't actually be running the book club.

We do plan to feature new authors every other month or so. I'll stop back here and comment again when we know who's up next!

January 14, 2008 7:24 PM | Comments (1) | posted by The Blogmother

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