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Resources for Democracy

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  • Dan Clore
    News for Anarchists & Activists: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo From YES! Resources for Democracy by Rik Langendoen & Darcy O Brien join the dialogue
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31 8:52 AM
      News for Anarchists & Activists:

      From YES!
      Resources for Democracy
      by Rik Langendoen & Darcy O'Brien

      join the dialogue

      AmericaSpeaks facilitates "21st century town meetings,"
      pictured above, combining face-to-face interaction with
      communication technologies to allow citizen groups of
      500-5000 to develop shared agreements for future action. In
      July, AmericaSpeaks gathered over 4,000 New Yorkers to help
      shape the redevelopment of lower Manhattan and the creation
      of a permanent memorial to the victims of the September 11

      From the Four Directions provides coaching, networking, and
      resources for citizen leaders to start conversation circles
      and connects local circles into a global force for change.

      Search for Common Ground works for conflict resolution in 12
      countries through methods such as mediation, facilitation,
      and radio soap opera and TV production.

      The Dialogue to Action Initiative is a web-based resource
      center for organizers, researchers, and facilitators of
      intergroup dialogue.

      The Study Circles Resource Center helps people to engage in
      dialogue and problem solving on critical social and
      political issues using study circle programs. The SCRC works
      with communities to improve the process for organizing
      large-scale community dialogue that leads to action and

      Consensual Democracy helps grassroots citizen groups
      identify and achieve the civic renewal they desire through
      providing community-building tools and training, workshop
      facilitation, written materials and networking with other

      Accurate Democracy, an e-book, offers explanations of
      various democratic voting methods for elections and
      meetings, a glossary of electoral concepts, and an
      educational computer simulation game.

      The Co-Intelligence Institute makes available innovative
      practices, ideas, experiments, organizations and references
      for building wiser democracies. Many of the resources
      presented here were found on its Innovations in Democracy
      web page.

      The Democracy Collaborative sponsors programs to strengthen
      democracy and community, through teach-ins, work with
      citizen groups, and training teachers.

      The Loka Institute works to make science and technology more
      responsive to social and environmental concerns by expanding
      opportunities for public-interest group, everyday citizen,
      and worker involvement in science and technology

      transform institutions

      The Center for Voting and Democracy offers an online library
      promoting instant runoff voting and forms of proportional
      representation; provides reports on all 50 states and
      information on pending legislation; and operates a full
      election consulting service to help groups select and
      implement electoral systems and technology for their goals.

      Healthy Democracy promotes structural reforms including the
      Citizens Initiative Review and the Citizen Election Forum
      methods, clean elections, term limits, proportional
      representation, instant runoff voting, a unicameral
      legislature, and empowered deliberative democracies. Website
      also provides a link to the Jefferson Center, responsible
      for developing the citizen jury process.

      The International Simultaneous Policy Organization proposes
      a range of legislative measures to be implemented by all
      nations simultaneously to regain control of global financial
      markets and transnational corporations.

      The National Civic League, a 107-year-old non-profit,
      non-partisan organization, provides technical assistance,
      training, publishing, research, and the All-America City
      Awards, toward strengthening communities.

      The Center for Constitutional Rights, founded to defend
      civil rights activists in the Jim Crow South, is a legal and
      educational organization that defends and advances
      constitutional rights. Projects include litigation against
      supermax prisons, defense of immigrant rights, and fighting
      post-September 11 erosion of civil liberties.

      expand civic literacy

      Civic Practices Network exchanges “best practice” guides and
      provides practical tools for public problem
      solving—including manuals, a civic dictionary, and sample
      course syllabi. Website map feature allows user to search
      for stories, case studies, and essays by geographic region.

      Campaign Finance Reform, a section on the Public Agenda
      Online website, provides facts, public opinion data, policy
      news updates, competing perspectives, and comprehensive
      resource lists on the role of money in US elections.

      Demos: A Network for Ideas and Action performs research on
      state-level US democracy; builds coalitions between
      activists, advocates, and scholars; and tracks legislative
      developments and democratic reform efforts. Website offers
      free access to Demos publications, bi-weekly e-mail issue
      briefings, and an extensive links page of pro-democracy
      organizations in every state.

      Project Vote Smart provides information on over 13,000
      elected offices and candidates locally and nationally.
      Offers candidates’ background information, issue positions,
      voting records, campaign finances, and performance
      evaluations by various special interest groups; a toll-free
      Voter’s Research Hotline; and a Young Voters Program that
      allows voters to instantly compare candidates’ positions.

      reclaim the media

      FAIR, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, is a national
      media watch group that offers well-documented criticism of
      media bias and censorship.

      The Pew Center for Civic Journalism helps print and
      broadcast news organizations reconnect to their communities
      and engage citizens in problem-solving dialogue and shares
      the results through outreach programs.

      become an activist

      Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now,
      conducts grassroots campaigns on voter registration and
      education, election reform, and city council redistricting,
      and promotes ballot initiatives to empower low– and
      moderate–income families. Contact David Swanson at
      202-547-2500 for information about ACORN organizing in your
      city or state.

      MoveOn and Progressive Portal are large nationwide networks
      of on-line activists providing busy citizens with
      information and tools for democratic participation.

      read all about it

      Bridging the Class Divide and Other Lessons for Grassroots
      Organizing, by Linda Stout, with an introduction by Howard
      Zinn, is a moving personal story that shows how to make a
      movement truly inclusive. Beacon Press, 1997

      Beyond Left and Right, Breaking the Political Stalemate, by
      A. Lawrence Chickering, is an attempt to find common ground
      between liberals and conservatives. Institute for
      Contemporary Studies, 1993

      Building A Win-Win World, by Hazel Henderson, calls for a
      world founded on cooperation, not domination.
      Berrett-Koehler, 1997

      By Popular Demand: Revitalizing Representative Democracy
      Through Deliberative Elections, by John Gastil, tackles two
      important issues--increasing political participation and
      restoring trust in government--that are critical to the
      future of American democracy. University of California
      Press, 2000

      The Change Handbook: Group Methods for Shaping the Future,
      edited by Peggy Holman and Tom Devane, details
      group/organizational practices that can empower our public
      life. Berrett-Koehler, 1999

      Citizens as Partners: OECD Handbook on Information
      Consultation and Public Participation in Policy-Making, by
      the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development,
      is a practical guide for informing and engaging citizens in
      policy making. OECD, 2001

      Collaborative Leadership: How Citizens and Civic Leaders Can
      Make a Difference, by David Chrislip and Carl Larson,
      discusses using collaboration to generate civic will to
      solve tough community problems. Jossey-Bass, 1994

      Creating a World that Works for All, by Sharif Abdullah,
      presents a possible solution to the inequalities in the
      world. He outlines three simple tests--for "enoughness,"
      exchangeability, and common benefit--to guide people as they
      transform themselves and the world. Berrett-Koehler
      Publications, 1999

      Creating Community Anywhere, by Carolyn Shaffer and Kristin
      Anundsen, presents tools for creating community within the
      many spaces we occupy. Perigee, 1993

      Defying Corporations, Defining Democracy: A Book of History
      & Strategies, edited by Dean Ritz and produced by the
      Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy (POCLAD,
      http://www.poclad.org ), calls citizens to take back power
      from corporations. The Apex Press, 2001

      Democracy at Risk, Rescuing Main Street from Wall Street, by
      Jeff Gates, is a manifesto for spreading wealth and creating
      a truly democratic society. Perseus Publishing, 2001

      The Democracy Reader, by Sondra Myers, is a comprehensive
      tool for understanding democracy and the central role that
      citizens play in making democracy work. International Debate
      Education Association, 2002

      Doing Democracy, The MAP Model for Organizing Social
      Movements, by Bill Moyer with JoAnn MacAllister, Mary Lou
      Finley and Steven Soifer, shows how to build powerful change
      movements that uphold values like honesty, democracy,
      fairness, compassion, and protection of the environment. New
      Society Publishers, 2001

      The E-Democracy E-Book: Democracy is Online, by Steven
      Clift, discusses the many ways telecommunications technology
      affects--or could affect--democracy.

      Governing is an online monthly magazine that, among other
      topics related to democracy, includes a discussion regarding
      consensus councils that bring together the full diversity of
      stakeholders around a contentious issue to agree on
      recommendations to policy-makers.

      Manufacturing Consent, The Political Economy of the Mass
      Media, by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky, shows how the news
      media defend the economic, social, and political agendas of
      privileged groups. Pantheon Books, 2002

      The Quickening of America, by Frances Moore Lappe and Paul
      DuBois, discusses how millions of Americans are learning
      "the arts of democracy," redefining self-interest, and
      getting creative in their democratic citizenship.
      Jossey-Bass, 1994

      Recreating Democracy, by Lloyd Wells and Larry Lemmel,
      provides practical guidelines for citizens to create
      contexts for political conversation and action. Center for
      Consensual Democracy, 1998

      Civic Literacy: How Informed Citizens Make Democracy Work,
      by Henry Milner, examines the civil societies of various
      cultures to compare the effectiveness of their democratic
      institutions. Milner posits that the level of a population’s
      political comprehension is the single best predictor of its
      level of political participation. University Press of New
      England, 2002

      A Time for Choices: Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy, by
      Michael Toms, engages a wide range of leading thinkers in an
      effort to reinvigorate democracy’s core values of "dialogue
      and dissent" in post-September 11 America. Includes
      interviews with Paul Hawken, Susan Griffin, Noam Chomsky,
      Joanna Macy, Vicki Robin, Anita Roddick, Thomas Moore and
      others. New Society Publishers, 2002

      Disobedience and Democracy: Nine Fallacies of Law and Order,
      by Howard Zinn, lays out a case for civil disobedience.
      South End Press, 2002

      Dan Clore

      Now available: _The Unspeakable and Others_
      All my fiction through 2001 and more. Intro by S.T. Joshi.

      Lord Weÿrdgliffe and Necronomicon Page:
      News for Anarchists & Activists:

      Said Smygo, the iconoclast of Zothique: "Bear a hammer with
      thee always, and break down any terminus on which is
      written: 'So far shalt thou pass, but no further go.'"
      --Clark Ashton Smith
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