Grassroots Democracy

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Engagement, empowerment, and participation – that’s what grassroots democracy is all about. It is the belief that democracy works best to the extent that power is vested in citizens and communities. It is the conviction that citizen participation should happen more often than election day, and that politicians and public officials should not be the only ones involved in governance.

No one is born into the world with rights. Societies decide what rights it will give citizens and what powers it will give government. Rights can be taken away and governmental powers can grow beyond reasonable limits unless citizens are watchful. The core of democracy "assumes that our rights and liberties do not come for free, that unless we assume the responsibilities of citizens we will not be able to preserve them.

Grassroots democracy belongs to no single person or group because nobody can take credit for building it. It did not need framers or founders because it grew naturally from the citizens and the communities. For a democracy to be stable and strong, it must first start at the grassroots.

What does grassroots democracy look like? It can look like many things. It can show up to townhall meetings and community consultations for big government proposals. It can also show up in our living rooms and coffee shops. It will even happen online, on blogs, Twitter, and Facebook.

Grassroots democracy can happen when politicians reach out to their constituents through doorknocking and BBQs. It can also happen when citizens reach out to each other to discuss important issues in their communities. It can even happen when citizens reach out to politicians to let them know how their community really feels.

Grassroots democracy is all about dialogue and action. It is all about citizens, their community, and their institutions sharing the rewards and responsibilities of good government.

Democracies are built on the belief that people should be free, should have choices and

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