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11 Draft Items for a Democracy Agenda from SOND2

About 90 people came together in DC Sunday through Tuesday for “Strengthening Our Nation’s Democracy 2” — a working session organized by AmericaSpeaks, Demos, Everyday Democracy and Harvard University’s Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation. Invited guests were leaders in electoral reform, public deliberation, community organizing, and collaborative governance, and we were joined at different times during the meeting by a number of members of the Obama administration. (Click here for background materials, confirmed participants, meeting agenda, etc.)

I shared insights and questions from the event on my Facebook wall so people who were not in attendance could join in the conversation.  I am happy with how that “Facebook experiment” went, as dozens of interesting comments were added to my posts and some good mini-discussions took place.  A lot of people added comments and posts just thanking me for posting about the event, so I think many more were watching.  Andy took the time to paste the comments into several blog posts below if you’re curious and not a Facebooker.

I’ll post a link to the report from SOND2 when it’s available, but here are the headlines of what was presented to administration officials on Tuesday afternoon as the 11 DRAFT Democracy Agenda Items (props to my friend John Godec of IAP2 for these notes!):

1. Draft Statement of Principles (The preamble which will likely carry the definitions, values and ethics we talked about)
2. Democracy Skill Agenda (How to transfer knowledge and ability to do this work)
3. Health of Democracy Report (The state of this imperfect union)
4. National Demonstration Projects (To show the real world value of what we propose)
5. Recognize and Support Engagement by Disenfranchised Communities (To ensure full inclusion)
6. Institutionalize Participatory and Collaborative Governance (Embed it in federal, state and local institutions)
7. Ensure Adequate Resources for Public Engagement (Paying for it)
8. Adopt and Electoral Reform Agenda (Self explanatory — more later)
9. Feedback on Consultation Efforts (Evaluation)
10. Mechanism for Sustaining Leadership (Ensuring that this doesn’t disappear in four years)
11. International Exchange (Learning from our global colleagues)

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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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