Our fragile democracy, minimum wage fight, justice system and more

Feb 2021 With Trump’s Acquittal, The Fragility Of America’s Democracy Is Even More Clear (FiveThirtyEight) — “Even if Trump himself doesn’t seek the presidency again, aspiring Republican politicians know now that the party’s base and elected officials will tolerate a lot of anti-democratic behavior. So, both Trump and Trump-style politics remain major threats to American democracy and potentially the future …

Real, greatly improved citizen engagement

Jan 2021 Michael Baskin, Chief Innovation Officer for Montgomery County, MD and Govlaunch co-founder, Lindsay Pica-Alfano collaborate to share insights to help guide efforts for more meaningful and effective engagement. See: https://www.boston.gov/departments/youth-engagement-and-employment/mayors-youth-council https://cities-today.com/industry/4-guiding-principles-citizen-engagement/ What is real citizen engagement? Most think of citizen engagement as a good turnout and vibrant Q&A to close a meeting. But citizen engagement can be so much …

Democracy as Dignity: Every person needs a sense of agency or personal power, meaning, and connection to experience dignity. Dignatus connotes a sense of worthiness

January 21, 2021 Frances Moore Lappé in Common Dreams Dispersions of power, transparency, and mutual accountability To save the democracy we thought we had we must take democracy to where it’s never been. (Photo: Small Planet Institute) Celebrating the inauguration of a new president and an end to years of attacks on democracy is a perfect moment to probe together: …

Searching for and Developing Democracy and Co-Management Instead of Feudalism in Online Communities

Nathan Schneider, UC-Boulder, Feudalism in online communities, https://mediarxiv.org/sf432/ Online Communities Are Still Catching Up to My Mother’s Garden Club, by Nathan Schneider, January 9th 2021  If you’re interesting in probing implicit feudalism and the alternatives to it, I have been writing a series of research articles full of resources for further reading. Each introduces a relevant concept: “implicit feudalism,” “effective …

Peace of Mind, Democracy at Work: ‘We have the philosophy of not firing people. We want people to not have too many worries.’

By Peter S. Goodman Dec. 29, 2020 NYTimes.com Co-ops in Spain’s Basque Region Soften Capitalism’s Rough Edges: A group of worker-owned businesses may present an alternative model to economies dominated by the interests of shareholders. Over the decades, scores of other cooperatives took root, dominating the town’s economy. Each business is autonomous, but they operate under shared principles, especially the understanding …

How to reconnect urban and rural America. Also, education…

A Marshall Plan for Rural America, local journalism and local recovery, Launch a new development corporation, to invest in local vision and leadership through long-term block grants at the community level and innovative financing tools that give communities a fighting chance to strengthen and renew their local institutions, economies, and vision. Create a national rural strategy, elevate White House and interagency leadership, and undertake a set of specific and targeted …

US is an oligarchy not a democracy. Thomas Frank: Anti-populism helped Democrats embrace plutocracy. Plus Christopher Lasch: Revolt of the Elites

December 2020 https://scheerpost.com/2020/12/04/thomas-frank-how-the-democratic-party-became-a-vehicle-of-aristocracy/ More than six years ago, a study by Princeton University Prof. Martin Gilens and Northwestern University Prof. Benjamin I Page made headlines for concluding what many Americans may have already known: the United States is an oligarchy, not a democracy. While the evidence is all around us, perhaps even more clearly in a pandemic that has enriched the …

Just recovery policies

Foundations for a Just Recovery Many of the policy solutions we advocate for a just recovery are cross-cutting by nature. They aim to shift mindsets, cultural norms, how people are treated, how our voices are heard, and how bedrock environmental laws are upheld, creating an overarching structure from which to fight for social, environmental, and economic justice. Honor those whose …

Everything you need to know about online free speech

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SECTION 230 The most important law for online speech, by Casey Newton, The Verge, Dec 29, 2020 WHAT IS SECTION 230? Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which was passed in 1996, says an “interactive computer service” can’t be treated as the publisher or speaker of third-party content. This protects websites from lawsuits if …