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Common Sense Democracy

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(The items listed under each category are examples, they are not meant to be exhaustive)

    What are each person's concerns for the community?
    Where does each person fit into the community?
    How does each person view other individuals in the community?
    What groups of people does each person identify with in the community and what is their opinion of them?
    How does each person view authorities and institutions in the community?
    How does each person view their community's relationship with surrounding communities?
    Who articulates concerns and opinions in a way that represents their neighbors?
    Where do people come together and what role does that play in their lives?
    What activities do most people carry on as individuals and where?
    What things tend to confirm or contradict the cumulative opinions learned from listening?
    What institutions impact, for good or ill, the concerns and values of residents?
    What institutions/organizations, if any, in the community involve a majority of residents?
    What are the housing patterns in the community and how do institutional forces effect them?
    Who do people look to as informed about conditions and concerns on their block, in the institutions and groups to which they belong, and in their community?
    Who does volunteer work?
Building Relationships: Trust and Accountability
    Do what you say you will do when you say you will do it
    Provide accurate and sufficient information
    Ask and prepare individuals for specific tasks and duties
    Followup to address any difficulties and to identify opportunities for growth
    Balance requests for participation with respect for other time commitments
    Use name only with permission
    Keep informed
    Seek feedback
    Ask for opinion and information
    Clearly explain the role and task requested
    Practice with the volunteer where necessary
    Provide advise and information necessary for completion of role and task
    Allow enough time for information to be "internalized"
Teaching Key Democratic Principles:
    All power and authority emanates from "the people"
    Political power is the result of individuals acting as a united and disciplined group
    Remind people of:
      What they have at stake
      What they can accomplish through collective action
      The consequences of inaction
    Affirm inclinations to action and solidarity
    Identify common concerns and give them, orally and in writing, expression in a clear, dignified, and (where necessary) forceful manner that people will recognize and/or adopt as their own

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