LOCAL DEMOCRACY CONFERENCE

The American rhetoric of liberty, justice, democracy and equality is inspiring, yet the reality of our society has never matched those stated ideals. Even so, American history is filled with examples of people working together to build the social movements that are necessary to make profound and positive systemic change—the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, labor organizing, civil rights, ecology, global justice, and immigrants rights movements.

The foundation for all of these efforts was a commitment by ordinary people to demand and create for themselves changes in their own lives and in their own communities. After all, we have the most power where we live, work and play.

The Local Democracy Conference will showcase the latest examples of communities that are creating a new way of making and implementing decisions. We will convene participatory workshops and panels to share best practices attendees can take back and implement in their communities.

The Participatory Budgeting Project is the principal convener of the Local Democracy Conference.  Contact Maria at mariahadden@gmail.com for more info.

If you haven't already done so, be sure to register now!

Full Conference Agenda Below:

CONVENTION OPENING PLENARY with Gar Alperovitz

KEYNOTE: Gar Alperovitz on “The Next American Revolution”

with Medea Benjamin as the MC and Wisconsin Welcome by Bryan Kennedy

Date: 
August 7, 2013 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Location

Madison Masonic Center
301 Wisconsin Ave
Session type: 
Keynote
Speaker(s): 
Bryan Kennedy
Speaker(s): 
Gar Alperovitz
Speaker(s): 
Medea Benjamin

Home Rule: Using Local Government to Build a Stronger Democracy Movement

This session will explore the history and practice of using local governments to achieve social progress, strengthen local democracy, and to defeat corporate power, racism, and militarism. We will also learn more about how and why state, federal, and global legislatures and courts are being used to suppress and destroy local democracy. The struggle between local democracy and corporate capitalism is becoming more important every day. Get ready and get more engaged.

Date: 
August 8, 2013 - 11:00am - 12:30pm

Location

Madison College D433
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Ben Manski

Community Action Toolkit for Earth Democracy

Though our government pays only lip service to future generations, we can take action now to protect their interests. Carolyn Raffensperger will explain how Guardianship of Future Generations and Precautionary Principle strategies can be adopted as community government policies to pass on a healthy, rather than degraded, environment to our children and protect the ecosystems needed to sustain life through time. Randa Solick, using Santa Cruz, CA as a pilot, will lead an interactive discussion on how these strategies can be shaped to the needs of each community and lead to broader collaboration among diverse community groups.

Date: 
August 8, 2013 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Location

Madison College D229
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Carolyn Raffensperger
Speaker(s): 
Randa Solick

How to Build a Movement to End War and Restore Liberty Wherever You Live

Date: 
August 8, 2013 - 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Debra Sweet
Speaker(s): 
George Friday
Speaker(s): 
Shahid Buttar

CONVENTION ROUNDTABLE PLENARY

One delegate from each of the nine Democracy Convention conferences join in an animated discussion of the years ahead in the U.S. democracy movement.

Inn on the Park, 22 S. Carroll, Wisconsin Hall

Date: 
August 8, 2013 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Ben Manski
Speaker(s): 
George Friday
Speaker(s): 
Jill Stein
Speaker(s): 
Leah Bolger
Speaker(s): 
Leland Pan
Speaker(s): 
Margaret Flowers
Speaker(s): 
Norm Stockwell
Speaker(s): 
Richard Monje
Speaker(s): 
Roshan Bliss
Speaker(s): 
Victoria Collier

Using Local Governments to Advance Democracy

Local governments are some of the most important yet often overlooked tools available to the
democracy movement.  In this workshop we will explore how campaigns for local living wage
ordinances, municipal participatory budgeting processes,  county-level immigrant safe harbor
policies, among many other policy ideas, can take the fight for social justice to the local level.

Date: 
August 9, 2013 - 9:00am - 10:30am
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Adam Porton
Speaker(s): 
Leland Pan
Speaker(s): 
Matt Kozlowski
Speaker(s): 
Michael Martez Johnson

Ending Foreclosure and Creating a Sustainable Local Economy

Date: 
August 9, 2013 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Nancie Koerber

Energy Injustice and Environmental Racism: How Dirty Energy Impacts Communities

Nuclear power, coal, oil, gas, hydroelectric, biomass and waste incineration, and biofuels production all damage the environment and tend to disproportionately affect low-income communities and communities of color.  Learn about the realities of environmental racism and how it's more than just classism.  This workshop discusses the principles of environmental justice and what is means to be involved in the environmental justice movement.  We will explore the differences between NIMBY "not in my backyard" and "not in anyone's backyard" politics, the difference between environmental "equity" and justice, and how corporate propaganda systems undermine environmental justice through sophisticated divide and conquer tactics.

Date: 
August 9, 2013 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Mike Ewall

Guardianship of Future Generations and Writing Earth Rights into Law

Date: 
August 9, 2013 - 11:00am - 12:30pm

Location

Madison College D406
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Carolyn Raffensperger
Speaker(s): 
Linda Sheehan
Speaker(s): 
Ruth Caplan
Speaker(s): 
Sherri Mitchell

Shutting the Chamber: The National Fight Against The U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the largest lobby group in the U.S. and spends hundreds of
millions of dollars each year to advance a platform centered on cutting public services, dismantling
workers rights, and denying climate science. Learn how you can get involved in Liberty Tree’s Shut the Chamber Campaign by taking part in days of action where you live and by encouraging your neighborhood small businesses and local chambers of commerce to divest from the U.S. Chamber (and its state affiliates) and instead join a business alliance that supports strong communities.

Date: 
August 9, 2013 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Carl Gibson
Speaker(s): 
David Schwab
Speaker(s): 
Laura Brickman
Speaker(s): 
Omkar Sawardekar

The End of Democracy - Emergency Managers in Michigan

This session will discuss the effects of the lack of democracy in Michigan after it was taken over by the emergency managers.

Date: 
August 9, 2013 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Edward Pinkney

Idle No More and Community Fightbacks to Corporate Crimes: Building Bigger Resistance

Date: 
August 9, 2013 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Alexandra Thebert
Speaker(s): 
Carl Sack
Speaker(s): 
Patricia Popple
Speaker(s): 
Peter Anderson
Speaker(s): 
Ruth Caplan
Speaker(s): 
Sherri Mitchell

Investing Locally: Moving Your Money From Wall Street to Main Street

Date: 
August 9, 2013 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Rebecca Ryan

Water for People and Nature: Local Ordinances and the Right to Water

The UN has declared that access to water and sanitation are fundamental human rights, but that doesn’t stop corporations like Nestlé, CocaCola, and Pepsi from bottling water and selling it at the highest price the market will bear. Nor does it stop the corporate privatization of municipal public water/sewer systems.  How do we enforce the fundamental right to affordable, clean water for all people? And how about the rights of nature? This workshop will lay out three approaches to answering these questions by reframing in terms of earth jurisprudence and by passing local laws.

Date: 
August 9, 2013 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Linda Sheehan
Speaker(s): 
Ruth Caplan

Evening Social at Osaka House

Evening Social at Osaka House (505 State St) hosted by the Economic Democracy and Representative Democracy Conferences

Date: 
August 9, 2013 - 9:00pm - 11:00pm
Session type: 
General

Local Food Democracy Reception

Sample and purchase local produce from South Central Wisconsin

Madison College Downtown Patio ~ Organized by Family Farm Defenders

Date: 
August 10, 2013 - 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Session type: 
General

Evening Social at The Rigby

Evening Social at The Rigby (119 E Main St) hosted by the Earth Democracy Conference. Head-Roc and Ryan Harvey will be performing.

Date: 
August 10, 2013 - 7:00pm - 11:00pm
Session type: 
General
Speaker(s): 
Head - Roc
Speaker(s): 
Ryan Harvey

Participatory Budgeting in the U.S. - Local Democracy in Action

Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process through which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. Most examples involve city governments that have opened up decisions around municipal budgets, such as overall priorities and choice of new investments, to citizen assemblies. This session will provide a brief overview of the basic principles and impacts. PB has been adopted by hundreds of cities across the world and is slowly gaining popularity in the U.S. with major projects in New York city, Chicago and Vallejo, CA.

Date: 
August 11, 2013 - 9:00am - 10:30am
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Maria Hadden

Community Action Toolkit for Earth Democracy

Though our government pays only lip service to future generations, we can take action now to protect their interests. Carolyn Raffensperger will explain how Guardianship of Future Generations and Precautionary Principle strategies can be adopted as community government policies to pass on a healthy, rather than degraded, environment to our children and protect the ecosystems needed to sustain life through time. Randa Solick, using Santa Cruz, CA as a pilot, will lead an interactive discussion on how these strategies can be shaped to the needs of each community and lead to broader collaboration among diverse community groups.

Date: 
August 11, 2013 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Carolyn Raffensperger
Speaker(s): 
Randa Solick

Shutting the Chamber in Wisconsin - The Fight Against WMC

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) is the largest lobby group in the Wisconsin and
spends millions of dollars each year to advance a platform centered on cutting public services,
dismantling workers rights, and weakening environmental protections. Learn how you can get
involved in Wisconsin’s Shut the Chamber! Campaign by taking part in days of action where you
live and by encouraging small businesses and local chambers of commerce to divest from WMC
(and the U.S. Chamber) and instead join a business alliance that supports strong communities.
While this workshop will focus on Wisconsin, the campaign is a national effort; all are welcome!

Date: 
August 11, 2013 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Carl Gibson
Speaker(s): 
David Schwab
Speaker(s): 
Laura Brickman
Speaker(s): 
Omkar Sawardekar

CONVENTION CLOSING PLENARY: Call to Action

The keynote address will be followed by a facilitated discussion to give each conference a chance
to share the big ideas that came out of their event as well as the next steps everyone can take to further the democracy movement in the months and years ahead.

Date: 
August 11, 2013 - 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Session type: 
Keynote
Speaker(s): 
Debra White Plume

Liberty Tree Foundation

The Democracy Convention is a project of Liberty Tree. Liberty Tree is uniquely committed to building a new democracy movement for the U.S.A.. We provide vital support to grassroots campaigns for democratic reform in many areas of American life, and bring those campaigns together to form a united movement for democracy.

Participatory Budgeting Project

The Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) is a non-profit organization that helps communities decide how to spend public money, primarily in the US and Canada.

Our mission is to empower community members to make informed, democratic, and fair decisions about public spending and revenue. We pursue this goal by working with governments and organizations to develop participatory budgeting processes, in which local people directly decide how to spend part of a public budget.

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ABOUT THE CONVENTION

If you want to strengthen democracy where it matters most -- in our communities, our schools, our workplaces and local economies, our military, our government, our media, our constitution -- you will find something inspiring in Madison this August. Learn More →

ABOUT LIBERTY TREE

The Democracy Convention is a project of Liberty Tree, a strategy center uniquely committed to building a new democracy movement for the U.S.A.. Liberty Tree supports and unites campaigns for democratic reform across many areas of life. Liberty Tree logo

Learn More →