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Examples of local DD needed for book project

NCDD member Susan Clark (the one from Vermont, not the Susan Clark from California) sent the following message out to the NCDD Discussion list today.  She’s looking for “a few terrific local examples of local, deliberative democracy, especially with links to local governance.”

Here’s Susan’s full message:

I am looking for a few terrific local examples of local, deliberative democracy, especially with links to local governance, and hope you can help out.

I am working on a book for Chelsea Green Publishing www.chelseagreen.com/ due out in fall, 2012. Building on the “slow food” movement (which in turn is a protest of “fast food” and everything it stands for), our title is _Slow Democracy: Replacing McPolitics with More Community, Better Decisions, and Real Change._

My co-author Woden Teachout and I are defining “slow democracy” as governing ourselves locally with processes that are inclusive, deliberative, and citizen-powered. (We’re trying to keep it as simple as possible, but we will go into detail about best deliberative practices, including that they should be preceded by dialogue, diverse, facilitated, etc.).

I’d be very interested in any suggestions you may have for case studies or activists to profile. More info on the project is below.

Thank you for being part of this great NCDD conversation,

Susan Clark, Vermont

More info on Slow Democracy:

If you’ve read this far, I hope by now you realize that “slow” is a wise, almost tongue-in-cheek term – a raised eyebrow at what “fast” has come to mean. As NCDD members know, “slow” D&D processes can actually lead to faster, and certainly more sustainable outcomes.

As Sandy Heierbacher remarked at an NCDD regional event in Boston last fall, one of the immediate challenges of the D&D movement is to make it come alive in people’s minds. We need to articulate the need for and value of this work. Everyone knows the most effective PR targets its audience with messages that will resonate specifically for them. The goal of our book is to target readers who are focused on “local” — local food, local energy, local economy. These are folks who have a strong “sense of place” and who care about community, who may be concerned about issues like energy independence or environmental sustainability —  but who are burned out on politics.

It’s a small subset of the many people NCDD would love to reach with our D&D tools and techniques, but it’s a start. Our book won’t be a left-wing or right-wing treatise; it’s an invitation to co-create better community conversations. In addition to case study ideas, if you have any thoughts/concerns/suggestions about our book project, I’d love to hear them!

I hope you can help us make the case to the “slow” audience that they’ll find progress, satisfaction and even fun in re-engaging in local deliberative processes.

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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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