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Council for Excellence in Government Issues Report on Homeland Security from Citizens' Perspective

I received a call from the Council for Excellence in Government on Thursday, asking if I could announce their new report “We the People: Homeland Security from Citizens’ Perspective” to the NCDD network. The report includes recommended action gleaned, in part, from citizen suggestions at seven town hall meetings for all levels of government, first responders, private sector and individuals. The recommendations were presented to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and will be distributed to governors, mayors, members of Congress, industry leaders, trade and professional organizations and civic groups immediately.

Click here to read Ridge’s remarks about the project. Among other things, Ridge endorses citizen engagement by saying, “…Homeland Security officials – including myself – were able to hear first hand the concerns and questions on the minds of many Americans. That dialogue has provided an important and useful resource that will help guide our continued efforts at Homeland Security to engage and empower citizens.” Click below to read the announcement, read more on the Council’s website, or download the report.
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CIVICUS Produces Report on New Approaches to Global Problem-Solving

I saw this announcement in Friday’s newsletter from CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation:

CIVICUS, as part of a group of civil society, research, corporate sector and various levels of international government representatives, is finalizing a report for the Helsinki Process on Globalization and Democracy on new approaches to global problem-solving. This Process, initiated by the Finnish Government in cooperation with the government of Tanzania, aims to develop innovative solutions to the dilemmas of global governance, especially where they affect the most vulnerable sections of the world’s population. Three track groups will be addressing the areas of human security; financing development; and new approaches to global problem solving.

The latter track, of which CIVICUS is a member, is tasked with starting an international dialogue on the goals and methods of global problem-solving. In its second meeting in London in March, the group concluded that a global governance gap existed because of deficits in democracy, coherence and compliance. The group’s final report will include proposals on new coalitions for global problem-solving, accountability of global institutions, voices of vulnerable groups in global governance and efficient implementation of global agreements. For more information on the Helsinki Process, visit www.helsinkiprocess.fi.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Iraqis Discuss Iraq at openDemocracy.net

As a new Iraqi government forms amid continued violence, openDemocracy.net hosts a heartfelt discussion among six Iraqis about what is best for their country. Their views are diverse, but they are unified by an avoidance of simplistic platitudes (no calls for immediate US withdrawal, for example), and a serious concern for the future of their country. As over-heated arguments about Iraq swirl around us, shouldn’t we all find out what Iraqis think? You can join in on this roundtable weighing the prospects for democracy, the role of Kurds, Shi’a and Sunni, the USA’s part in the process and what lies ahead.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Asian Museum in Seattle Fosters Dialogue About Race

An art exhibit at the Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle, Washington, inspired a June 4 article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer called “Wing Luke exhibit fosters dialogue about racial differences.” Author Regina Hackett writes: “‘Beyond Talk: Redrawing Race’ at the Wing Luke Museum features 12 different approaches to race. In spite of the title, it’s successful because of the talk it generates. This exhibit manages a feat rare in the museum world: It encourages dialogue without patronizing the audience.” Click below to read the full article.
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Online Dialogue on Issues Facing the Nation's Charter Schools

Laurie Maak sent me this announcement the other day: Next week, June 7-10, USCharterschools.org is hosting an online dialogue about key issues facing the nation’s charter schools. This is a good venue for school leaders and faculty, parents, policymakers, researchers, and other interested community members to share their thoughts, concerns, and experiences about topics related to Growing the Charter School Movement, Federal Policies, Resources & Responsibilities, and Teaching & Learning.

Joining the dialogue are seasoned, knowledgeable and enthusiastic panelists who will help frame the conversation each day. USCharterschools.org hopes that you will take this opportunity to contribute your experiences and perspectives as well as ask questions on any topics that interest you. To learn more about the invited panelists, the Dialogue Agenda, and to register, visit www.uscharterschools.org/dialogue.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Quotas, Fines and Yes-No Votes: An Update on British Columbia's Citizens' Assembly

I just received a press release from the groundbreaking Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform. The Assembly is an independent, representative, non-partisan group of 160 randomly selected British Columbians. They must decide by December 15 whether to propose a change to BC’s electoral system. If they recommend a change, it will be the subject of a referendum for all voters in the May 2005 provincial election. Click below to read the entire press release about last week’s public hearings in Port McNeill, Courtenay, Nanaimo and Vancouver.
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Tom Atlee Shares Some Thoughts on Knowledge Mapping and Deliberation

I received an email from my NCDD Steering Committee member Tom Atlee yesterday that I wanted to share on the Happenings blog. After reading a speech by Bob Horn yesterday, Tom posted the following on NCDD’s Wiki (at www.wiki-thataway.org/index.php?page=KnowledgeMapping) and the Collective Intelligence blog. Tom believes that Bob Horn’s work became the seed crystal for making sense of a lot of other cognitive mapping technologies, he feels that this is a key area to add to our understanding of tools for high-quality deliberation and collective intelligence. Click below for Tom’s message.
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Motivate Citizen Participation: New essay by Grace Lee Boggs Available Online

In October 2003, Detroit-based activist, cultural worker, and octogenarian Grace Lee Boggs energized and inspired a national gathering of artists, arts organization and community leaders, and activists with her speech at Animating Democracy’s National Exchange on Art & Civic Dialogue. Describing a United States that is becoming increasingly jobless; jeopardizing its youth in a problem-wrought education system; and resented for its economic, military, and cultural domination, she implored, “Can we create a new paradigm of our selfhood and our nationhood?” In Boggs’ subsequent essay, she expands on ideas seeded at that gathering. Boggs’ message is timely and inspiring as communities seek to motivate citizen participation in upcoming elections and other critical civic concerns.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Update from Taylor Willingham on Forums in Texas

Here’s an update from Kettering’s Friday Letter written by Taylor Willingham (taylor@austin-pacific.com), an NCDD member who’s doing incredible work in Texas. Taylor, a longtime National Issues Forum activist had this to say about her recent work:

I’m way behind on reporting the activities of Texas Forums, but that’s only because we’ve been so busy! On March 27, Texas Forums moderators convened three simultaneous forums on race relations. These forums followed a two-day Civil Rights symposium organized by Dr. Ed Dorn, Dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs and Kettering Board Member. We conducted these forums in partnership with Future Forum, an organization founded by Catherine Robb, LBJ’s granddaughter and my office mate at the LBJ Library…..
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Managing Diversity eCoach Book

Dr. Billy Vaughn’s Managing Diversity eCoach Book is available at www.globalsoftskills.net – the first 500 to purchase this ebook will receive a 69% discount. According to Vaughn, the book provides you with everything you need to avoid mistakes and disastrous interpersonal situations, develop high impact newsletters and training, offer expert consultation, manage both a national and international workforce, and learn the secrets that separate those who walk the walk from those who merely talk the talk. Click below for his full message.
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