Many think that democracy primarily happens in Washington DC and state capitals and all that we, the people, have to do is to vote regularly to make it work. This is wrong. We, the people, have to be involved and participate. This website gives you a whole host of ways to be involved to ensure your democracy works for you. But before you concentrate on your democracy, you have to work on yourself and your community.
Community is people coming together, connecting with one another, sharing their skills and talents to plan and accomplish that which is important to them by engaging with one another.Read More
Community members must consciously engage with each other, however, to actually realize this power. To the extent that a community is not engaged, it loses much of its potential power in a democracy. The following are ways that community members have engaged with one another to enhance and build their communities and their individual lives.
A community in Georgia brought residents together to improve their community : How One Small Georgia Town Emerged from COVID Better Than Before – Community Heart and Soul
In a republic, democracy is the act of people working together to establish the power that allows them to accomplish goals they share. Democracy gives community the ability to solve problems and address issues that concern the members of a community.Read More
The people’s voices that representatives feel most compelled to listen to come from large groups of organized citizens working together to accomplish personally important goals. This means people must work in communities in which ordinary citizens gain their voice and the power in a democracy. People who act alone or within a small group have relatively little power; one voice will simply be too small in the sea of the many voices that representatives have to listen to. Of course, each voice can become larger with extreme wealth, but an average person who is not in the top .01 percent of wealth is too small to gain the attention of his or her representatives in ways that the wealthy can; only when working in community does the ordinary citizen have much of a chance of being heard and being building the power in democracy.
The power in democracy is built through the use of:
- Collective efforts
- Editorial writing
- Legal strategies
- Legislation proposals
- Letter writing
- Narrative building
- And many, many more ways to be involved
Democracy has been successful in many ways. They include:
- Women’s suffrage
- Desegregation and civil rights
- Environmental protection
- Supporting LBGTQ rights
- Gun rights
- Defending free speech rights
- Stopping pipelines
- Stopping trusts and monopolies
- Improving schools and education
- Reducing poverty
- Establishing healthcare
- Protecting voting rights
BUILDING COMMUNITY & DEMOCRACY
Attempts at building community and thereby its use of democracy can be destroyed through the use of violence. The more violence that a community experiences, the less possible it is to build or even sustain community within a group of people. And when community disappears, its ability to use the power in democracy goes as well.
Nonviolence enhances community and the use of the power in democracy to build, support and sustain community.Read More
The violence of neglect, poverty, injustice and mistrust destroys community and democracy – Violence is any action that diminishes, hurts, disrespects, damages or destroys a person or something people care about.
Democracy is being destroyed by violent actions that include lying, injustice, inequality, deception, threats, name calling, gerrymandering, divisive actions, discrimination, vote theft, derision, mistrust, hating, lack of attention, inadequate listening, desire to harm and destroy, hierarchy, punishment for ideas, and disrespect.
Democracy is destroyed when people riot to stop a president who was duly elected by a majority of voters from taking office.
Democracy is destroyed when voters have to stand in lines for hours, when voters names are purged from poll lists or when voters can’t get to the polls because they must work on Tuesdays.
Democracy is destroyed when the people’s representatives must spend more time asking the wealthy for money instead of working to serve the interest of the people who elected them.
Democracy is destroyed when more than two thirds of the voters in America indicate they want or need something and the government denies the will of the people.
Democracy is destroyed when politicians listen to their wealthy donors instead of the people who elected them.
Violence makes community impossible and destroys the capability of people to use the power in their democracy. A people who give into the pressures of violence, give away their democracy and ultimately their freedom and rights.
The Nonviolence of caring, trust, love, responsibility and equality builds community and democracy – Nonviolence includes any action such as listening, support, problem solving, dedication, kindness, respect, gratitude, and the many manifestations of love. Democracy has been reflected in:
Democracy is built through the use of nonviolence when it is used to engage communities that focus on issues and goals that are important to community members as well as in building the power in democracy to achieve their goals and address their important issues.
Do you want to be part of an engaged community and strengthen our democracy? Only when we work together can democracy work for us. The rest of this website may give you some ideas on how to accomplish a healthier, engaged community and better democracy for yourself and those you love (and even others you may not love but are simply fellow members in this large, diverse, potential-filled, beautiful community we call the United States of America)
To join our efforts to create democracy and community, click Join in the menu above.