AmericaSpeaks stands for reasserting people’s place in our democracy of the people, for the people, and by the people.
A healthy, inclusive democracy depends on an informed, engaged citizenry that can make thoughtful decisions that reflect the needs of the “common good.” We believe that people care deeply about this country and want to make it better for themselves and others, and that citizens have the right to meaningful participation in the decisions that impact their lives. In contrast to a government dominated by special interests, democratic deliberation – where every-day citizens confer with one another about critical policy issues and options in impactful, non-adversarial forums – can strengthen the role of all citizens in public decision-making, regardless of race, class, age, and geography.
AmericaSpeaks engages citizens in the public decisions that impact their lives.
We recognize that the democratic mechanisms, processes, and structures we have inherited over the last two hundred years are insufficient for the realities and possibilities of the 21st century. In response to this gap, AmericaSpeaks, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization, has become a pioneer in the field of citizen engagement, finding innovative ways to bring citizen voices into decision-making at all levels of governance. In 1997, AmericaSpeaks developed the “21st Century Town Meeting,” a dynamic forum that combines face-to-face dialogue and technology to engage thousands of citizens in discussions around planning, resource allocation, and policy formulation.
AmericaSpeaks is also a leading contributor to the thought and practice of deliberative democracy. Since 1995, AmericaSpeaks has regularly convened meetings of scholars, practitioners, government decision-makers and technology developers to assess the critical issues confronting the field and develop joint strategies that produce results.
AmericaSpeaks is working toward a national infrastructure for democratic deliberation that institutionalizes the links between decision-makers and citizens in determining public policy.
To learn more about our work, please visit our website at www.americaspeaks.org. You can also read about deliberative democracy at www.deliberative-democracy.net