Initiative to Renew Democracy
Many challenges face our country today. Angry citizens have forgotten the meaning of responsible citizenship. Cynicism has dimmed people's faith in their elected officials. Rhetoric and partisanship has replaced rational public policy debate. Efforts to resolve the urgent problems that confront us are undermined. Special interest, not public interest is dictating the nation's agenda.
Will the League respond to these challenges? Locally we are pursuing efforts to engage citizens in the discussion of the Pro's and Con's of holding the Constitutional Convention; an issue that will be on the ballot in November 1996. Details can be found elsewhere in this issue. Meetings are under way to provide our Ad Watch service again, offering an analysis of political advertising to determine which are useful and informative for citizens as they go to the polls. These grassroots efforts will be a small part of helping rebuild citizen confidence in government.
On the national level the League is developing a concept proposal for an Initiative to Renew Democracy to be launched at the 1996 National Convention. The League should take the lead in renewing American democracy how it works, how citizens participate, how citizens think about democracy. Such a campaign could be the focus for the League's advocacy and education activities for the 1996 98 biennium. As part of this comprehensive and coordinated effort, the national League would provide training, technical assistance, and pass through grants to enhance state and local league participation in the campaign in whatever role each League determined to be most appropriate to its community.
We welcome members' comments about the proposed program. If you want more information call the League office.