Citizens’ revolution and the politics of participation in Ecuador

Excerpt from The Next System Project, August 2017 The politics of participation Initial excitement about profound progressive change in Ecuador seemed well-founded since the 2008 Constitution provided the framework for a more democratic, participatory and pluralist government and a more equitable economy. The 2009 Ley Orgánica de Participación Ciudadana (the Fundamental Law for Citizen Participation) codified the inalienable right to …

Youngstown Residents Push to Oust Corporations from Election Campaigns, Cap Contributions at $100

BY RURAL AMERICA IN THESE TIMES  After several attempts to ban fracking in Youngstown, Ohio, the community rights movement is focusing on ending outside industry contributions to local election campaigns.   (Image: protectyoungstown.org) In their seventh attempt to put an end to the environmental threats the oil and gas industry pose to their land, water and right to self-governance, a community rights …

To Protect Voting, Use Open-Source Software

By R. JAMES WOOLSEY and BRIAN J. FOX, New York Times, AUG. 3, 2017 CreditEric Thayer for The New York Times  Although Russian hackers are reported to have tried to disrupt the November election with attacks on the voting systems of 39 states, the consensus of the intelligence community is that they were probably unsuccessful in their efforts to delete and alter voter data. But another …

New strategies for transportation: Data as a Service, Mobility/Transportation as a Service, and Infrastructure as a Service – (Model) Strategy for the Transition at Transportation Agencies

New digital technology offers new opportunities for smart and emission-free mobility that saves energy, emissions, space, time and money. Creating more efficient flow of people and goods emission-free in city and what business models and policy tools we need for large-scale deployment of intelligent mobility? The DOT must position itself as a platform for mobility innovation that supports greater mode options …

A new book argues that the Constitution’s framers believed that vast concentrations of wealth were the enemy of democracy—so what happened?

By Jedediah Purdy, The Nation, 11 July 2017 Illustration by Tim Robinson. “Aconstitution is not intended to embody a particular economic theory,” wrote Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. in 1905. Holmes was dissenting from the Court’s majority opinion in Lochner v. New York, which held that the New York State Legislature had violated the right to freedom of contract when …

End of coal: Failure (of us) to plan for it hurts miners most: can we have the dialogue and planning we need?

On a just transition History shows governments that don’t anticipate and make provisions for the decline of coal burden communities for generations Retired coal miner Kenneth Dangerfield, from Morgantown, West Virginia, speaks to Barack Obama’s labour secretary Thomas E. Perez in 2014 (Photo: US Department of Labor) By Oliver Sartor and Andrzej Błachowicz Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US …

Modeled after the Civil Rights Era’s citizenship and freedom schools, the new Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership teaches skills for the Trump Era.

By Chuck Collins, also see Sarah Van Gelder’s effort underway, June 2017 More than 200 people crammed into a meeting room at Smith College to listen to Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum speak at the May 4 opening ceremony of the Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership. The new school provides in-person training opportunities in activism in five cities throughout Western Massachusetts. “We need the Sojourner Truth School …

Our fake democracy

By Tim Egan, NYTimes, 23 June 2017 We tell ourselves stories in order to live, as Joan Didion said. We do this as a nation, as individuals, as families — even when that construct is demonstrably false. For the United States, the biggest institutional lie of the moment is that we have a government of the people, responding to majority …