On October 3, 2007, 47 youth leaders ages 16 to 30 gathered in Washington, D.C to participate in Mobilize.org’s Democracy 2.0 Summit—part of a national movement known as “Democracy 2.0,” which was launched to upgrade and renew our political process in America by providing guidelines for positive social change that take advantage of both the tremendous passion of today’s youth leaders, and the powerful social networking and technological tools they are using to create communities.
The text at the bottom of this post is the Declaration that emerged out of the Summit. The “Democracy 2.0 Declaration” is a visionary document, designed to call attention to the ways that our democratic process and institutions are properly serving - and failing to serve - the interests of young Americans. The Declaration was written by youth leaders with the sincere belief that America’s youth are a major source of untapped political power, energy, and innovative ideas. Democracy 2.0 is designed to address the civic participation needs and interests of the Millennial Generation (targeting the 16-30 age group).
You can support the Democracy 2.0 campaign by signing on to the Declaration at www.petitiononline.com/Mobilize/petition.html. If you are interested in getting further involved in creating the final version of this Declaration and/or play a role in the local action plans that will organize around the Democracy 2.0 ideals, you can apply to attend the Party for the Presidency in Hollywood, CA on December 29-31, 2007. Learn more at: http://www.mobilize.org/index.php?tray=content&tid=top360&cid=255.
DEMOCRACY 2.0 DECLARATION
Democracy is an unfinished project. It’s time we upgrade.
We, the Millennial Generation, are uniquely positioned to call attention to today’s issues and shape the future based on the great legacy we have inherited. Our founding fathers intended for every generation to build, indeed to innovate, on the American experience. We realize that as young people we are expected to be the leaders of tomorrow, but we understand that as citizens we are called to be the leaders of today.
We are compelled by the critical state of our present democracy to establish a new vision.
In a world often damaged by conflict and intolerance, we must commit to develop common ground through equality and open mindedness.
In a world often damaged by social isolation and materialism, we must commit to community at the family, local, national and global levels.
In a world often damaged by instant gratification, we must commit to creating sustainable solutions.
In a world often damaged by apathy and disillusionment, we must commit to civic participation and inclusion of all voices.
The present state of our democracy impedes opportunity for real change. We must connect the specific issues failing our population with their underlying systemic causes.
Our government seems unable or unwilling to adequately address our broadest problems, including economic inequality, America’s role in the world, and the effect of money on the democratic process. But we must remember, our government is only as effective as the sum of its citizens. Low civic participation means the most disadvantaged people in society are neglected and we overlook many potential solutions to our problems.
Our generation is telling a different story. We are uniquely positioned to foster community engagement through social networks of all kinds. It is our responsibility to use information and technology to upgrade democracy, transform communication and advance political engagement and civic participation.
We are social networkers, we are multi-taskers, we are communicators and we are opinionated. The informality of our generation breaks down traditional barriers and opens doors for inclusiveness and equality. Most importantly, we are leaders in a society that yearns for leadership.
It’s our democracy, it’s time to act.