Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

AMERICASPEAKS Engaging Citizens in Governance Libraries: Making a Difference in the Future of Our Democracy Florida Public Library Directors Meeting Theo.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "AMERICASPEAKS Engaging Citizens in Governance Libraries: Making a Difference in the Future of Our Democracy Florida Public Library Directors Meeting Theo."— Presentation transcript:

1 AMERICASPEAKS Engaging Citizens in Governance Libraries: Making a Difference in the Future of Our Democracy Florida Public Library Directors Meeting Theo Brown Senior Associate AmericaSpeaks

2 AMERICASPEAKS Crisis of Democracy Political paralysis and hyper-partisanship Little or no progress on the big systemic issues High public distrust and disengagement 21 st century problems cant be solved by government alone; and often dont align with government jurisdictions

3 AMERICASPEAKS Lack of Trust in Government Just 22 percent of Americans say they can trust the government in Washington almost always or most of the time. This is among the lowest measures in fifty years. Favorable ratings for both major parties, as well as Congress, have reached record lows. The proportion of Americans who say they are angry with the federal government has doubled since 2000, from 10% to 20%. Source: Pew Research Center

4 AMERICASPEAKS Promising Opportunities Profound brokenness of the system leads to willingness to try new approaches New powerful technologies and large-scale change methodologies Untapped common ground that crosses traditional divides All of these can lead to building public constituency

5 AMERICASPEAKS Create a stronger public constituency and mandate for change Educate the electorate about the challenges facing government officials Involve the public in being part of the solution and taking action Gain unique insight and new options So, Why Engage the Public?

6 AMERICASPEAKS An Organizers Credo To be an organizer, one must believe one thing and one thing only and it is this: the people will, if given enough information, most of the time, make the right decision. –Saul Alinsky

7 AMERICASPEAKS Belief in American Democracy With all of our problems, we still have a system that works if we use it Churchill on democracy worst system ever invented.... Belief in the American system Trust in the American people History of progressive social change –MLK and his belief in America –Constantly expanding involvement

8 AMERICASPEAKS Building Public Involvement

9 AMERICASPEAKS Building Public Involvement Mass communication efforts Active interface with the public Basic civic education Projects that give citizens a real voice Promotion of active citizenship

10 AMERICASPEAKS There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration. ~Andrew Carnegie

11 AMERICASPEAKS Deliberative Democracy Field

12 AMERICASPEAKS AmericaSpeaks Purpose AmericaSpeaks mission is to reinvigorate American democracy by engaging citizens in the public decisions that most impact their lives

13 AMERICASPEAKS Finding Common Ground on Our Fiscal Future Diverse Group of 3,500 Americans Across 57 Cities Weigh In on Nations Fiscal Challenges

14 AMERICASPEAKS 19 Town Meeting Sites Albuquerque Augusta Casper Chicago Columbia Dallas Des Moines Detroit Grand Forks Jackson Los Angeles County Louisville Missoula Overland Park Philadelphia Portland Portsmouth Richmond Silicon Valley 3,500 People Across 57 Cities

15 AMERICASPEAKS Video: America Speaks: Our Budget, Our Economy

16 AMERICASPEAKS Principles for Effective Citizen Engagement Linked to Decision Makers Demographic Diversity Informed Participation Facilitated Deliberation Discover Shared Priorities Clear Recommendations for Action Sustaining Citizen Engagement

17 AMERICASPEAKS What infrastructure is needed for a healthy democracy? Legislative Human Organizational Physical Technological Media Educational

18 AMERICASPEAKS Governing body actively promotes public participation, funds it, and receives and acts on citizen input A Legislative Mandate for Participation

19 AMERICASPEAKS Skills: process facilitation, conflict resolution, deliberative democracy Network of facilitators needed in every community The Human Infrastructure to Undergird it, and…

20 AMERICASPEAKS Mediating organizations needed Must have trust and confidence of the public The Organizational Infrastructure to Undergird it

21 AMERICASPEAKS Space in community where everyone feels safe No one party dominates the space Common or public square Safe, Accessible Physical Spaces

22 AMERICASPEAKS Commitment from nation or region to provide every person with broadband Internet access Commit as a society to imparting skills necessary to use the Web The Necessary Technology

23 AMERICASPEAKS Free flow of information is critical to the core of democracy Need to teach media literacy Technology, especially broadband, is changing the ways people access and process information The Knight Commission Report on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy A Trustworthy, Fact-based Media

24 AMERICASPEAKS One must learn to be a good citizen Counteract damaging effects of political campaigning, ineffective media Robust Civic Education

25 AMERICASPEAKS Libraries Natural Assets Accessible to the whole community Respected source of factual information Trusted as a neutral convener Ability to attract partners and create alliances Talented, committed staff RENEWED commitment to building community and playing a leading role in community life

26 AMERICASPEAKS Rethinking Libraries Innovative and exciting ideas about libraries of the future David Lankes and others--new librarianship Knowledge is created through conversation and therefore libraries are in the conversation business Libraries enrich, capture, store and disseminate the conversations of a community

27 AMERICASPEAKS Challenges to Libraries Playing a Strong Role in this Arena

28 AMERICASPEAKS To meet the challenges of the 21 st century, we have to learn new ways of meaningfully linking public will and political will to take action on the major problems we face.

29 AMERICASPEAKS A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. ~Andrew Carnegie

30 AMERICASPEAKS although the practical problem of revitalizing citizenship is enormous, it is challenging rather than insuperable. ~Wilson Carey McWilliams Redeeming Democracy in America


Download ppt "AMERICASPEAKS Engaging Citizens in Governance Libraries: Making a Difference in the Future of Our Democracy Florida Public Library Directors Meeting Theo."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google