“By The People” PBS, January 4 (10 PM on most stations)
December 30th, 2007

I had the privilege of participating in a small way in a well-thought-out exercise in citizenship that gave me a great deal of hope that, although our ship of state seems to be careening wildly, the wellsprings of democracy and thoughtful, caring, citizens from every part of the political spectrum are still alive in America. The exercise will be the subject of a PBS broadcast anchored by Jim Lehrer, this coming Friday, January 4: By the People:

In fall and winter of 2007-2008, By the People, in partnership with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, is hosting a national conversation called Dialogues in Democracy: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, featuring a national PBS broadcast anchored by Jim Lehrer.

The project will remind citizens that the American experience is built on their shared ownership of the democratic values of the founders.

Dialogues in Democracy is focusing on a series of local deliberations in communities across the country and will include online and paper polling and local and national broadcasts.

A main feature of the project was the November 8-11 convening of emerging 21st Century leaders and thinkers in Colonial Williamsburg’s House of Burgesses, site of the founding generation’s first comprehensive Declaration of Rights. Citizen-delegates from the convocation have offered thoughts on the drafting of a new Declaration of Citizenship for the 21st Century, which will be discussed and debated here and at other online forums.

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