WE NEED DEMOCRACY
Democracy gives us the following:
Liberty – We need democracy because it protects our liberty and defends us from arbitrary and unreasonable restraints. Liberty in law extends to the full range of conduct which the individual is free to pursue, and it cannot be restricted except for a proper governmental objective. Liberty is the power to do as one pleases as long as it doesn’t deny others their liberty. It is also freedom from physical restraints and controls. And it is freedom from arbitrary or dictatorial control and the ability to enjoy a range of culturally accepted social, political, or economic rights and privileges.
Rights – These include our rights to expression in religion, speech, press, assembly, petitions, jury trials, privacy, and other elements defined in law such as free education and movement from one place to another.Read More
Equality – Equality is about ensuring that all people have an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents. It is about every American having equal input into the decisions made by government. It is also the belief that no one should have fewer opportunities in life because of the status or conditions into which they were born, where they came from, the gender they are defined by, what they believe in, their level of disability or previous life experiences.
Government of the people – is a republic in which the basis for all power is in the hands of the people and only the people.
Government by the people – in the United States of America representatives serve the will of the people. This means the people’s representatives create laws that reflect the will of the people and pay attention only to what the people want, need and demand.
Government for the people – the government ensures that the laws of the land solve the people’s problems, create opportunities for the people and support the people when that support is needed.
OUR DEMOCRACY IS WEAKENING
Evidence of democracy’s weakening includes:
A government that is hobbled in partisan divide
Representatives that spend more time asking the wealthy for money than working for the peopleRead More
A people that feels powerless in the face of BIG GOVERNMENT
The January 6th take over of Congress
Legislation that serves business and wealth more frequently than the people
Unequal treatment of people based upon race, gender, disability and economic status
A majority of people under 40 preferring autocracy over democracy
Fewer than fifty percent of eligible citizens voting in most elections
Continuously increasing use of gerrymandering
Increasing number of laws creating voting rights restrictions
Two of the last four presidents being elected by a minority of those voting
An increase of the power of special interests as reflected in the Citizens United decision that allowed unrestrained financial influence in elections and other aspects of government
WE MUST STRENGTHEN OUR DEMOCRACY
Democracy means power for the people. But the people are only powerful when they are united, engaged and in agreement on what needs to be accomplished. The primary way to build the power of democracy is to build community. Democracy building means that people connect with one another well enough to cooperate, compromise, collaborate and build coalitions with other communities on the issues and concerns they share. Here are some things needed to strengthen our democracy:Read More
Trusted Information – to act together to share the power of democracy, people must share an understanding of what makes actions important and why they are needed Everyone involved must be able to trust these factual accounts. An engaged community depends on constant accurate information to be united and to act effectively.
Learning – Learning begins when people pay attention to issues, concerns and problems they share and increases as they become more active in their working together on issues, concerns and problems.
Engaged – The power in democracy increases as people work together on issues that are important to the people they work with.
Connect – People who are connected to one other, appreciate one another, and this appreciation increases their capacity to work together to strengthen democracy.
Cooperate – The breadth and depth of their collective skills and energy increases as people cooperate. Cooperation is also the basis for collective power of community in its use of democracy. The power of one or just a few people working on an issue is paltry compared to the power of many people working together on the same issue. Communities working together also can force their representatives to pay better attention to them and listen more closely to their issues, concerns and problems.
Compromise – Compromise allows people to work together even when they disagree. The larger a community becomes, the more likely there will be disagreements, and therefore compromise is a necessary ingredient in any community’s use of democracy.
Collaborate – Collaboration includes all the skills and processes involved in a group of very different people working together using the compromises they have agreed upon.
Build Coalition – Coalition building is about multiple communities coming together to work on one or more issues important to all in the coalition. The larger the coalition, the greater the power, and the more likely issues, concerns and problems will be successfully addressed.
JOIN US AND WORK FOR A STRONGER DEMOCRACY THAT SERVES ALL THE PEOPLE
We invite you to be part of an engaged Hopewell Valley community that will strengthen our democracy . We can all work together to build a better community through the use of a stronger democracy, please join the Hopewell Valley Civic Trust (HVCvcT).
To join, go to Join HVCvcT in the menu above.