Last summer, about 100 representatives of various strands of democratic reform work came together in Washington, DC to create a common agenda. Among the participants were advocates of electoral reform, voting rights, and campaign finance reform; practitioners of public deliberation and advocates of consulting with citizens; federal civil servants who have created and managed programs that involve collaboration with nonprofit groups and communities; grassroots community organizers; activists for participatory democracy overseas; and educators who are concerned about teaching civic skills to students and to communities.
Thanks to remarkable facilitation by AmericaSpeaks President Carolyn Lukensmeyer and a small team of other leaders, the whole group was able to pull together a single agenda after just two very long and intense days of discussion. The result is here .
I do not think this agenda is completely comprehensive–it’s mostly focused at the federal level and it’s perhaps not strong enough on culture change–but it is an extremely important document. If we can achieve this agenda, we will transform American democracy.