Our friends at the Kettering Foundation are offering to send complimentary copies of David Mathews’ new book out to anyone in the NCDD community who requests one.
As you may know, David Mathews is president of the Kettering Foundation and former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare in the Ford administration. I know him personally, and he’s an extremely kind, thoughtful, intelligent, and humble guy.
The Ecology of Democracy: Finding Ways to Have a Stronger Hand in Shaping Our Future is for people who care deeply about their communities and their country but worry about problems that endanger their future and that of their children. Jobs are disappearing, or the jobs people want aren’t available. Health care costs keep going up, and the system seems harder to navigate. Many worry that our schools aren’t as good as they should be. The political system is mired in hyperpolarization. Citizens feel pushed to the sidelines.
Rather than giving in to despair and cynicism, some Americans are determined to have a stronger hand in shaping their future. Suspicious of big reforms and big institutions, they are starting where they are with what they have.
From the introduction:
This book is about people who are trying to help our country realize its dream of democracy with freedom and justice. However, they would never describe themselves that way: it would be far too grandiose. They would just say they are trying to solve a problem or make their community a better place.
This book is also for governmental and nongovernmental organizations, as well as educational institutions that are trying to engage these citizens. Their efforts aren’t stopping the steady erosion of public confidence, so they are looking for a different kind of public participation.
The book is divided into three sections — Democracy Reconsidered (Part I), Citizens and Communities (Part II), and Institutions, Professionals, and the Public (Part III). It is chock-full of ideas about how the work of democracy can be done in ways that put more control in the hands of citizens and help restore the legitimacy of our institutions.
To get a free copy of the book mailed to you, send an email to email@example.com with your mailing address and a note that you’re affiliated with NCDD.