Democracy Communications Network
The “Democracy Communications Network” is an informal group of leaders who periodically write letters to the editor, blog posts, and other media pieces as part of larger, collaborative campaigns that raise awareness of the importance of quality public engagement.
- Current Topic (June/July ‘09): The Open Government Initiative
- DCN members list
- General tips for writing op-ed articles
Archives for Past Topics:
- Topic 1: Op-Eds, blog posts, etc. on John Edwards’ proposal for “Citizen Congresses”
- Topic 2: Racism in our Nation
- Topic 3: Two momentous civic opportunities – the Brits and the internet
- Topic 4: Strengthening the Relationship Between Citizens and Government
About the Democracy Communications Network
There are dramatic changes happening in our democracy, but for the most part, these developments are flying under the national radar. A new kind of politics is emerging, one where citizens play a more central role in decision-making and problem-solving. These stories are compelling and complicated, and they deserve our attention and analysis – but the major news sources don’t seem to have noticed.
The Democracy Communications Network is a new collaborative effort to raise awareness about the central role people can and are playing in decision-making and problem-solving. A group of leaders in public engagement (including AmericaSpeaks, the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, Everyday Democracy, the Kettering Foundation, NCDD, Public Agenda, and others) launched the Democracy Communications Network in an attempt to:
- coordinate PR efforts (op-eds, blogging, articles, etc.) in response to current events
- develop simple, compelling language to describe public engagement work
- make widely available helpful tools for writing compelling op-eds, working with newspapers, writing for blogs, etc.
- keep track of the blog posts and op-eds that are written, so that others can be inspired by those examples
- raise the visibility of the work we all are doing
In October and November of 2007, many of these same groups worked together on a field-wide op-ed campaign initiated by AmericaSpeaks’ Joe Goldman in response to John Edwards’ proposal for Citizen Congresses. Visit www.thataway.org/?page_id=1034 to see the blog posts, op-eds, and media resources that were produced for this project.
The Democracy Communications Network hopes to coordinate this kind of campaign regularly, and dozens of people have signed on to participate. Periodically, the Steering Committee will suggest a topic about which Network Members may consider writing. For example, we might ask people to write articles about a prominent topic being discussed by Presidential candidates, like the public’s role in heath care reform, or about how a stronger democracy would reduce political polarization that may be exemplified by a specific issue in the news.
This national network includes academics, elected officials, prominent practitioners, and local organizers. The steering committee for the Network consists of:
- Martin Carcasson (Colorado State University)
- John Dedrick (Kettering Foundation)
- Julie Fanselow (Everyday Democracy)
- Cynthia Gibson
- Joe Goldman (AmericaSpeaks)
- Sandy Heierbacher (NCDD)
- Alison Kadlec (Public Agenda)
- Matt Leighninger (DDC)
- Susanna Haas Lyons (AmericaSpeaks)
- Amy Malick (Everyday Democracy)
- David Ryfe (University of Nevada-Reno)
- Eric Rigaud (Harwood Institute)
To view all members of the Democracy Communications Network, click here. If you’d like to get involved, send an email to NCDD Director Sandy Heierbacher at . The DCN is open to all who are willing to write letters to the editor periodically as part of larger, collaborative campaigns that raise awareness of the importance of quality public engagement.