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7.04.03
Politics and Economy:
Use Your Democracy
More on This Story:

USe Your Democracy

This week NOW examines the role of citizens in American democracy. Through interviews with visionary thinker Frances Moore Lappé, author of DEMOCRACY'S EDGE and activist Diane Wilson, author of AN UNREASONABLE WOMAN, the broadcast examines how in these times, citizens are making a difference in democracy through action. Lappé discusses what she calls the emergence of a living democracy, which is redefining our democracy from something done to us to something done for us. Wilson, a fourth-generation shrimp-boat captain and mother of five, who took on a giant chemical company and forced it to stop dumping chemicals into her beloved Gulf Coast, talks about her experience as a real-world example of how individual citizens can create change in a democracy.

Many of the stories NOW has covered have dealt with the state of democracy in the United States. This week NOW Below we offer some tools so you can make use of your democracy and some American political and historical refreshers. Also, get involved in your community with NOW's action ideas. And, check up on your environment, school system, and local government with NOW's resource maps.

Speak Out on the NOW message boards

Updates

Once you've elected them — keep tabs. Track legislation on the Web. Also, how to contact your elected officials.

Falling Behind: The United States ranks 139th out of 172 democratic nations — in voter turnout. Find out more about who votes worldwide.
War Protest Sign
Can you burn the flag? Test your Freedom of Speech knowledge.
Children in Japanese Relocation Camp Saluting Flag, WPA
One nation, under God...? Take the Freedom of Religion Quiz.

Make your presence felt. Volunteering for Beginners.

Education Resources — Find local officials and get your school district's federal "grade."

State Budget Map — Find out how your state is making ends meet.

Democracy 101 — Lesson Plan, Starter Activities and Take Action ideas for high school students.


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