Happy 4th of July From COW

June 30, 2006

Happy 4th
On Independence day, COW wants to remind everyone that democracy depends on participation.

As de Tocqueville, in his book, Democracy in America, put it:

“In a local community, a citizen may conceive of some need that is not being met. What does he do? He goes across the street and discusses it with his neighbor. A committee begins functioning on behalf of that need…. All of this is done by private citizens on their own initiative.”

While there were no blogs back when the Constitution was signed, there were the Federalist papers which were first published between 1787 and 1788 in New York newspapers to defend and promote the ratification of the new Constitution. Written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison under the nom de plum PUBLIUS. We bet they are looking down on us and admiring the technology that allows citizens to publish on their own.

We recently read a quote from John W. Gardner, the late founder of Common Cause, who was optimistic about the possibility of open, honest and accountable government. “There are new signs of vitality all across America. There are many people working hard for the public good in every community in this nation. And in some places, there are enough of these people to have reached a critical mass and changed the political culture of their communities.”

It has been said that community building is not a passive activity and that democracy depends upon an involved citizenry. We urge all COWs to get involved; be informed, go to meetings, and voice your views. We offer this site as a community bulletin board. Please feel free to communicate with us either under your own name or your nom de plum. And have a safe and sane 4th of July holiday.

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