The U.S. currently faces a "crisis of democracy," leaving many citizens feeling cynical, impotent, and alienated from their government, writes Sam Daley-Harris in the 10th anniversary edition of Reclaiming Our Democracy
. The reasons for this problem are complex, but his remedy for solving it is both straightforward and profound: citizens must take responsibility for participating in their democracy. It is not enough to simply vote every two or four years; democracy requires diligent attention and active involvement. Daley-Harris does not believe that politicians deserve the disdain that is often heaped on them. It is up to citizens to inspire and educate their members of Congress about what is important to them. After all, they can't be expected to be experts on every issue.
Daley-Harris knows of what he speaks, for he has seen many jaded citizens transformed into powerful agents for social change. In 1980, he founded RESULTS, an international citizens' lobby dedicated to creating the political will to end hunger and the worst aspects of poverty. Throughout the book he shares the stories of RESULTS volunteers who chose to get involved by first educating their representatives and then insisting that they make the elimination of poverty in the U.S. and around the world a priority. A practical how-to guide for activists, Reclaiming Our Democracy teaches readers how to build relationships with their legislators and their aides, regardless of political party, and how to generate media in order to educate the public as well as decision-makers. This inspiring and informative book helps citizens participate in their government and take the lead in solving the most daunting problems of our age. If you truly believe that a few committed people can't make a difference in the world, this book will change your mind. --Shawn Carkonen
About the Author
SAM DALEY-HARRIS married Shannon Daley in 1995 and changed his name from Harris to Daley-Harris. He is the founder of RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund, as well as director of the Educational Fund's largest project, the Microcredit Summit, a nine-year campaign to reach 100 million of the world's poorest families--especially the women of those families--with credit for self-employment and other financial and business services by the end of 2005. Daley-Harris lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, their son Micah, and their daughter Sophie.