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Write an Op-Ed on Edwards' "One Democracy Initiative"!

On Saturday, October 13th, Senator and Presidential Candidate John Edwards gave a speech in Keene, New Hampshire that could have a major impact on our field. In his speech, he called for the creation of “Citizen Congresses” that would regularly convene one million Americans in national deliberations on critical policy issues. These congresses are part of his One Democracy Initiative, which references AmericaSpeaks’ and Study Circles’ work, as well as Deliberation Day and the newly-formed November 5th Coalition.

AmericaSpeaks’ Joe Goldman was contacted by the Edwards campaign about this before the fact, and Joe gave me and a number of other leaders in the field a heads-up on the speech. Joe encouraged us to submit letters to the editors of our local papers, not to support Edwards or his specific public engagement plan, but to raise awareness of the importance of public engagement and the fact that it is already happening across the country – and to encourage the other candidates to go beyond rhetoric and propose their own concrete solutions for bringing the public back into politics.

I strongly encourage everyone in the D&D community to consider submitting op-eds to your local papers as soon as possible!

This is a great opportunity for people in the D&D community to join forces to raise awareness about the need to for the public to have a greater voice in the governance process. As a community, we need to figure out how to respond quickly and collectively when things happen that can raise awareness of D&D – whether they be crises, conflicts or high-level PR opportunities like this one. Perhaps this effort can set a precedent for us to accomplish this.

Please keep an eye on this page to see people’s op-eds, and to look over some tips for submitting op-eds: www.thataway.org/?page_id=1034. I’m going to do my best to keep track of people’s op-eds so we can display and/or link to them in one place.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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