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Call for Deliberation Day

Bruce Ackerman and James Fishkin argue that Americans can revitalize their democracy and break the cycle of cynical media manipulation that is crippling public life. They propose a new national holiday — —Deliberation Day— — for each presidential election year. On this day people throughout the country will meet in public spaces and engage in structured debates about issues that divide the candidates in the upcoming presidential election. Order from http://yale.edu/yup/books/101015.htm or amazon.com.
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Lamppost Art Demonstrations Highlight Democracy

“We the People” seeks city hosts for lamppost art exhibitions www.republicart.org “We the People,” a lamppost banner series based on the theme of democracy, is seeking city hosts. The show, currently debuting on the streets of New Haven, Connecticut, with 35 lampposts displaying 50 different works by local artists, plans to be in Boston during the Democratic National Convention in July. The exhibit intends to increase public awareness and participation in our political process. As part of its tour, rePublicArt.org offers the banner exhibition or can send artists to conduct local workshops to create local banners.

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Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra Facilitates Jewish-Palestinian Dialogue in New York

The Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, in partnership with the Dialogue Project, hosted a series of dialogues among Jewish-Palestinian groups in New York through their presentation of the John Adams opera “The Death of Klinghoffer.” The Klinghoffer Dialogue Project, led by Ted Wiprud–Animating Democracy veteran through the American Composers Orchestra project “Coming to America”–consisted of three pre-production dialogue sessions, each focusing on one aspect of the production: the words, the staging, and the music of the opera; and one postproduction dialogue offering an opportunity for participants to reflect and discuss related issues. In addition, as part of the ongoing Open Rehearsal Initiative, classes at three diverse Brooklyn high schools studied “The Death of Klinghoffer.” Animating Democracy supported this project; a profile of the project is being developed for our website. www.brooklynphilharmonic.org/2003_2004/KlinghofferDP.htm

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San Diego Repertory Theatre Awarded for its Arts-Based Dialogue Efforts

In January, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle awarded the 2003 Outstanding New Play Award to playwrights Bernardo Solano and Allan Havis, and director Sam Woodhouse for “Nuevo California,” the Rep’s Animating Democracy project. The world premier of this multilingual theatre work explores physical and cultural boundaries along the United States/Mexico border. The play and its development process engaged citizens on both sides of the border in dialogue about reducing or increasing cross-border economic, cultural, transportation, and employment exchange. San Diego critics chose “Nuevo California” from over 100 productions produced in San Diego last year.

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Public Deliberation Required in New Nanotechnology Bill

In a January 18, 2004 email, Colleen Cordes of the Loka Institute wrote “Congratulations and sincere thanks to all of you who signed the letter to Congress and the White House last summer urging a strong provision for public participation — especially through citizen panels or consensus conferences — in the big nanotech R&D bill that Congress was then considering: THE BILL HAS PASSED AND HAS BEEN SIGNED INTO LAW WITH A PROVISION THAT DOES MUCH OF WHAT WE JOINTLY REQUESTED.” NCDD supported this provision and is excited about this development.
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Tom Atlee Writes About Use of Hi-Tech Games to Help Citizens Deliberate

In a February 6, 2004 message to his email list, Tom Atlee of the Co-Intelligence Institute wrote about how citizens can use games – computer simulations and other scenario-based games – to learn about the trade-offs involved in making decisions about public issues. When combined with deliberation, he says, this can greatly improve the sophistication of citizen recommendations and the level of public buy-in for whatever fair policies are approved.
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Update On Americas Role In The World Deliberations

In January 2003, MacNeil/Lehrer Productions (MLP) held a national dialogue, with 344 randomly selected citizens from across the country, on America’s role in the world. (More information on the National Issues Convention is available at www.by-the-people.org). The gathering demonstrated the power of informed public deliberation to spur serious reflection on complex policy choices. To extend and sustain this conversation, By the People held follow-up conversations in January 2004 in cities around the country, in partnership with local public television stations, community foundations, newspapers, universities, and civic organizations. A second phase, scheduled for October 2004, will extend the conversation to thirty communities.
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Get involved in NewzCrew

Do you work with high school-aged youth? Are you looking for online projects to help them learn about current events, improve communication skills, think about global issues, and spend time online? Then maybe NewzCrew (www.NewzCrew.org) is the project for you, where today’s youth discuss tomorrow’s news. For those who would like to see what a NewzCrew dialogue will look like, check out “Everything After 9.11” at www.ea911.org and go to the section called FEATURED DISCUSSIONS.
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New Resource on Media Coverage of the War in Iraq

The Institute for Philosophy & Public Policy publishes a quarterly journal to stimulate and inform debate about important current issues. Members of the Institute recently created a special website (www.puaf.umd.edu/IPPP/iraq/) about one particular issue of major international importance: media coverage of the war in Iraq. The website poses fundamental questions about the role of the press in wartime. As background, it collects and organizes some of the best relevant writing from philosophy, political science, and journalism. It also provides an opportunity for you to speak out. There is a discussion forum, and your comments and questions are welcome. If you would like to send additional references for the site or ask any questions, please contact Institute Research Scholar Peter Levine at plevine@umd.edu.

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Proceedings Online from "Public Deliberation in an Adversarial World"

Conference proceedings are available from the November 27, 2003 conference on “Public Deliberation in an Adversarial World” held at Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. This one-day dialogue forum focusing on John Forester’s work brought together urban and regional planners, community activists, government officials and others concerned with the question “What should planners and other public decision-makers know about inclusive and effective decision-making processes?” www.sfu.ca/dialogue/proceedings.htm

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