Category: In Civic Life

Applying the principles and practices of  sociocratic democracy in civic life is where it may be most comfortable. Democracy is probably valued even when not practiced very well. Majority vote means majority rule, and it promotes competition rather than cooperation. It is in our neighborhood associations, community services, and local governments that we most need to use the sociocratic principles and practices that deepen our democracy.

Preferential Voting and a Sociocratic Democracy

Instant Runoff Ballot Because our Council Member, Muriel Bowser, was elected mayor, Ward 4 in Washington DC is having an election to replace her. There are so many candidates, eight at last count?, that knowing who would be the best representative is very hard. My neighbors are speaking on behalf of almost all  of them. With so many votes splintered, unless some drop out in the remaining 3 days, there is likely to be a run-off election with… Read More . . . “Preferential Voting and a Sociocratic Democracy”

Elizabeth Warren on the Social Contract

Elizabeth Warren, American Harvard Law School professor and United States Senator from Massachusetts There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. … You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory,… Read More . . . “Elizabeth Warren on the Social Contract”

Transparency International

Movie poster for Living on One Dollar How can people participate in decision-making if they don’t have access to information? Can those denied both education and knowledge  of governance in any form be held responsible when they elect corrupt leaders? Transparency is fundamental to accountability and an inclusive society. Reading an article in the New York Times this morning on the lives of two women in Angola, Two Women, Opposite Fortunes, I discovered Transparency International. Transparency International was started in 1993 by… Read More . . . “Transparency International”

People’s Rights Amendment

Today, the Court has enthroned corporations, permitting them not only all kinds of special economic rights but now, amazingly, moving to grant them the same political rights as the people. Constitutional law expert, The movement to reserve the rights ensured by the US Constitution to citizens and stop them from being awarded to corporations is rapidly gaining steam. The legal standing of corporations as people began in 1886, in the famous case Santa Clara County… Read More . . . “People’s Rights Amendment”

Encouraging Self-Organization

Logo for Interaction Institute for Social Change In a workshop I conducted last Sunday, one of the participants asked, “How do you encourage self-organization?” By some miracle, probably related to my being on every mailing list on anything related to sociocracy and governance, I received in my mailbox a link to an article on the  Interaction Institute for Social Change. You guessed it on  Tips for Encouraging Self-Organization by Curtis Ogden. After some editing and additions, here are some ideas: Encouraging Self… Read More . . . “Encouraging Self-Organization”

Outside Experts on the Board of Directors

Residential communities customarily do not have board of directors members from outside the organization. Corporations normally do, but they may not be chosen by their ability to balance expertise. Non-profit organizations and independent schools often choose board members based on their ability to raise money or influence government or foundation decision-makers. Balanced Expertise Balanced expertise on the board of directors steers the organization from multiple perspectives. Balance can be achieved with experts on larger community… Read More . . . “Outside Experts on the Board of Directors”