How the Anti-Democracy Movement Used Media to Command the Narrative

As far back as 1835, perhaps our nation’s earliest and most astute observer, Alexis de Tocqueville, understood the power of the media. He described the press as “the chief democratic instrument of freedom.” But today our “instrument of freedom” seems to mean the freedom to enrich oneself privately, whatever it takes. How did we get to this sad state?

March 6, 2018

How We’re Fighting to Save Democracy From Bribery and Gerrymandering, One State at a Time

In Pennsylvania, the democratic system isn’t broken. It’s dead. And regardless of political affiliation, Pennsylvanians are correct in having lost faith in our government.

February 26, 2018

We Have what it Takes to Meet the Crisis of our Democracy

In fending off despair and effectively taking on democracy’s degradation, one insight has helped us a lot: that it’s not the magnitude of a challenge that crushes the human spirit; rather, it’s a sense of futility that does us in. Homo sapiens evolved, after all, as doers and problem solvers.

February 14, 2018

A Powerful Economic Justice Movement Is Brewing, Even in This Dark Time

In this tumultuous world, one thing seems certain: today’s dire threats to our democracy did not arise out of nowhere. Every culture thrives, or not, on whether its core narrative—the causation story we tell ourselves—enhances mutual gain or spurs division. And, the narrative driving today’s unfolding catastrophe feeds the latter.

January 18, 2018

How a Small New England State is Becoming a Trailblazer in Democracy

Recently, I spoke with John Marion, the executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, who, since 2008, has led the organization. He has successfully spearheaded numerous pieces of democracy reform through the legislature during his Common Cause tenure, including online voter registration, a law strengthening the state’s Ethics Commission, and more recently, automatic voter registration and risk-limiting post-election audits.

January 4, 2018

California Leads The Way in Transparency

Over the past year, I have interviewed democracy reformers across the country. I have heard many stories of victories that have pushed state democracies forward, most of which were recorded in my book Daring Democracy, coauthored with Frances Moore Lappé. Since handing in the manuscript, though, there have been many more successes and emerging grassroots efforts.

January 2, 2018

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