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Request your free copy of David Mathews’ new book The Ecology of Democracy

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.

Ecology-coverAs 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.

The 230-page book can be ordered from the Kettering Foundation here for $15.95. A 16-page preview is also available as a free download.

To get a free copy of the book mailed to you, send an email to customerservice@ait.net with your mailing address and a note that you’re affiliated with NCDD.

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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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  1. Loren says:

    What an amazing gift! Can’t wait to get my copy.
    Thank you so much Kettering Foundation (and Sandy) for making this available.

  2. Leroy Brady, PhD says:

    Several of the San Diego Cohort picked up “The Ecology of Democracy” during our February training at Kettering. I am proud to say that this book is one of the four books that I read daily (soon I will finish all four books).

    I like what David is saying about democracy and public empowerment, however, as I work in the world I wonder to what extent capitalism i.e. money has taken power to a new high or low — depending on how you look at it. I know this does not seem right coming from a business person but it is what it is.

    This is not a pessimistic view of what is happing today moreover, looking at the fact that it takes a LOT OF MONEY to get a person elected to a local community position and this morning I heard that for the 2016 presidential race it will take at least 1 Billion dollars-WOW. And after that Billion dollars is spent we will still will have adults and children in severe need-that’s a little crazy. Needless to say the book in is very good and thoughtful.

    Have a great week

    Leroy T. Brady, PhD
    Professor of Business
    San Diego City College
    enactus San Diego City College (formerly SIFE)
    enactus Hall of Fame 2010

  3. Nathan Ruggles says:

    Thank you for giving us this opportunity! This book looks like it speaks to us and our mission. We have sent away for a copy!

    Nathan Ruggles
    Peace Program Coordinator

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