Locus Focus on 11/05/12
SLOW DEMOCRACY: Rediscovering Community, Bringing Decision Making Back Home
On the eve of Election Day Locus Focus takes a look at how real democracy involves much more than casting an occasional vote. We talk with Susan Clark, co-author of a new book Slow Democracy: Rediscovering Community, Bringing Decision Making Back Home, that gives numerous examples of communities around the country taking back control of decision-making processes that directly affect their lives. Clark calls this process "slow democracy." Just as slow food encourages chefs and eaters to become more intimately involved with the production of local food, and slow money helps us become more engaged with our local economy, slow democracy encourages us to govern ourselves locally with processes that are inclusive, deliberative and citizen-powered.
We'll hear about examples of slow democracy at work in communities across the country: in Gloucester, Massachusetts, where residents worked to reverse the privatization of local water resources; in New Hampshire where parents decided how school consolidation plans should be altered; and in Mendocino County where citizens outlawed the use of genetically modified crops within its boundaries.
Susan Clark is the town meeting moderator in her hometown of Middlesex, VT and a former radio host whose democratic activism has earned her broad recognition, including the 2010 Vermont Secretary of State’s Enduring Democracy Award.