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By the People Kicks off Preparations for 2007 Dialogues

This year’s major By the People initiative is “Dialogues in Democracy: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Conducted in partnership with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, it will involve a range of events, designed to remind citizens that the American experience is built on their shared ownership of the democratic values of the founders.

In late October, By the People—through its local public television and community organization partners– will host Citizen Deliberations in 11 communities around the country focused on the rights and responsibilities of citizens, as they relate to issues of local importance. Participating communities and local issues featured in 2007 By the People project are: Albuquerque, NM: Healthcare; Baton Rouge, LA: Healthcare; Bowling Green, OH: Higher Education; Cleveland, OH: Higher Education; Denver, CO: Education; Houston, TX: Environment; Kansas City, MO: Regionalism (Transportation and Taxes); New Haven, CT: Immigration; Omaha, NE: Immigration; Rochester, NY: Healthcare; Seattle, WA: Housing.

The local deliberations will be accompanied by a national Online Deliberative Poll exploring 21st century citizenship in America. These deliberations will culminate in a national convocation of achievers, leaders and thinkers who will gather at Colonial Williamsburg’s House of Burgesses this November to discuss the meaning of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” All of these project elements will serve as the basis for a nationally televised PBS program, anchored by Jim Lehrer, to air this winter. Updates on the By the People project will be published on their website at www.pbs.org/newshour/btp/.

For more information contact By the People at 703.998.2187 or btp@newshour.org.

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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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