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Proposal for Regularly Convening One Million Americans in “Citizen Congresses”

This announcement was included as part of the “Democracy Communications Network,” a 2007-2009 project that encouraged leaders in deliberative democracy to periodically write op-eds and blog posts as part of larger, collaborative media campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of quality public engagement. Use the “Democracy Communications Network” tag to see the articles  written in association with this project.

Proposal for Regularly Convening One Million Americans in “Citizen Congresses”

Presidential hopeful John Edwards unveiled a government reform agenda today that calls for regularly convening one million Americans to make recommendations to national lawmakers based on a report produced by AmericaSpeaks, called Millions of Voices (pdf).

AmericaSpeaks is delighted to have our work recognized in this way and believes that all Presidential candidates should take a bold step in this direction by outlining their own plans for regularly incorporating the views of a large and representative group of Americans into their policy decisions.

Help move this issue onto the agenda of all Presidential candidates and voters across the country by taking action today:

Write an opinion piece or letter-to-the-editor to your local paper using this announcement as a point of introduction to:

  • highlight the importance of involving the public in policymaking;
  • point to successful examples of deliberative democracy by practitioners like AmericaSpeaks; and,
  • call on all Presidential candidates to present a plan for regularly engaging citizens in policy discussions

Contact by email or phone the Presidential candidates you’ve been following and urge them to present their own plan for regularly engaging citizens in national policy decisions.

Donate to the work of AmericaSpeaks and help us keep citizen engagement on the national agenda for the 2008 election and beyond.

Please let us know if you take any of these actions or – if you would like a sample letter to the editor – by contacting me, Joe Goldman, Vice President of Citizen Engagement at facilitator@americaspeaks.org.

Today’s announcement opens a unique window of opportunity for institutionalizing regular citizen deliberations in our national policy decisions, no matter who is elected President.

I hope you will join us in advancing this goal with candidates, voters and opinion leaders from all political stripes by taking action today!

AmericaSpeaks | 1050 17th NW – suite 701 | Washington | DC | 20036

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