More public participation can save American democracy

Posted by on July 03, 2017 at 2:04 PM

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Jessie Conover from Healthy Democracy recently wrote a blog challenging Lee Drutman's bold statement that more public participation isn’t the answer to our political woes because the reasonable, civically-minded voter is a myth.

Jessie says that public participation is much deeper and creative than the identification and engagement of reasonable, civically minded voters and civic participation takes many forms beyond politics. Participating in democracy is about connecting to others in community settings, which includes but is not limited to the world of politics and policy.

"In the close of his piece, Drutman calls on us to abandon the search for the mythical average citizen and seek an alternative. Since the author fails to articulate an alternative, I offer one here: let us expand our understanding of public participation to include the multitude of civic actions that add value to our democracy."

These processes to build social and community take time, resources, and require creativity but it is a worthwhile investment in our democracy.

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