This is What Democracy in Ohio Looks Like! Ohio’s Democratic “Infrastructure”

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http://afsc.org/document/what-democracy-looks-october-2014-document.

NEWS RELEASE
Contacts: John Fuller, 330-867-5122; Greg Coleridge, 216-255-2184
For Immediate Release: October 2, 2014

NEW REPORT DESCRIBES OHIO’S DEMOCRATIC “INFRASTRUCTURE”

[Cuyahoga Falls, OH] The Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) today released a new report itemizing Ohio’s democratic “infrastructure.”

The 20-page report, “This is What Democracy in Ohio Looks Like! Ohio’s Democratic/Self-Determination ‘Infrastructure,’” lists scores of documents, policies, practices, institutions, structures and groups that represent the state’s democratic/self determination foundation and culture – examples where those who are affected by decisions and policies have a role in the shaping of those decisions.

The list includes public and governmental entities as well as grassroots alternative initiatives across Ohio that bypass corporate and top down government structures.

Specific examples with contact information and/or links are listed in the areas of community, cooperatives, democratic legacy, economics/money, education, employment, employee ownership, food/agriculture, municipal ownership, news/information, political/legal, public spaces and social action/change organizations.

The report seeks to raise public awareness of the value of democratic openings that still exist or could exist with investment of individual and/or collective energies. This is increasingly important in an age of rapid privatization/corporatization of public assets; individuals looking to increase their power, status, and/or privileges through concentrating decision-making; and a culture that, among other anti-democratic characteristics, ignores historical examples of citizen control and definition of their lives.

The report also strives to emphasize the importance of working for democratic social change through creating or nurturing alternative organizations and policies and also of pursuing the democratization of existing laws, constitutions, policies, practices, and organizations.

“This report is unlike any other that has been published in Ohio,” said John Fuller of the AFSC. “It connects seemingly different existing formal institutions, grassroots groups, public arenas, laws and rules under the single umbrella of ‘democracy.’ Seen in this comprehensive way, it’s much clearer to see how we are losing our self-determination, but also to understand the multiple ways Ohioans are working to create and protect it.”

“Ohio’s physical infrastructures (i.e. roads, bridges, sewers, dams, etc.), need constant attention to prevent their crumble and collapse, stated Greg Coleridge of the Northeast Ohio AFSC. “The same goes with our democratic/self-determination ‘infrastructure.’ We must constantly and consciously resist the threats to democracy in our communities, state and nation by corporations and top-down government structures by protecting and expanding our democratic legacy, structures, policies and groups. If we don’t, our democratic infrastructure will, too, crumble and collapse.”

A copy of the report is available at http://afsc.org/document/what-democracy-looks-october-2014-document.

AFSC is a Quaker social action organization that educates, advocates and organizes on justice, peace and democracy issues. In the later category, it supports laws and rules ending corporate rule and big money in elections, as well as opposes privatization of public assets and services.

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