LOCAL DEMOCRACY CONFERENCE

The American rhetoric of liberty, justice, democracy and equality is inspiring, yet the reality of our society has never matched those stated ideals. Even so, American history is replete with examples of people working together to build the social movements that are necessary to make profound and positive systemic change—the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, labor organizing, Civil Rights, the Environmental and Global Justice Movements, immigrants rights reforms.

The foundation for all of these efforts was a commitment by ordinary folks to demand—and create for themselves changes in their own lives and in their own communities. After all, we have the most power where we live, work and play.

The Local Democracy Conference will showcase the latest examples of communities that are creating a new way of making and implementing decisions. We will convene participatory workshops and convene panels to share best practices regarding:

  • Participatory Budgeting
  • Asserting Home Rule
  • Municipal Foreign Policy -- Addressing National & International Issues, Locally
  • Food Sovereignty
  • Guerrilla Community Gardening
  • Stopping Corporate Boondoggles
  • Community-based economic projects
. . . and more!

Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County (www.duhc.org) is the principal convener of this conference. You can ask questions or make suggestions by emailing Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap at kaitlin@duhc.org

Registration Opens

Registration and information will be in the Atrium.  Please enter on Wisconsin Ave side of building.

Date: 
August 24, 2011 - 12:00pm - August 28, 2011 - 3:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC - Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St Atrium
Session type: 
Panel

Solidarity Sing Along

Solidarity Sing Along began holding sing alongs at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison on March 11, 2011, and has held a sing along at noon every week-day since then. The sing alongs started up as the large protests and the Capitol occupation were ending. They serve to maintain a continuous progressive, pro-labor presence at the Capitol, as well as providing a place where union members, activists, and citizens can come together and rejuvenate their spirits through song.

Date: 
August 24, 2011 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Location

Wisconsin State Capitol
2 E Main St at the top of State St
Session type: 
Panel

OPENING CEREMONY: Call for Peace Drum and Dance Company

Through the universal language of dance, traditional drums and contemporary music, Call for Peace weaves the pageantry of life, the power of hope and the wisdom of our Elders into a tapestry of rhythm, color and dance.

Date: 
August 24, 2011 - 7:00pm - 7:15pm

Location

The Madison Concourse Hotel
1 W Dayton St Wisconsin/Capitol Ballroom
Session type: 
Keynote

Solidarity Sing Along

Solidarity Sing Along began holding sing alongs at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison on March 11, 2011, and has held a sing along at noon every week-day since then. The sing alongs started up as the large protests and the Capitol occupation were ending. They serve to maintain a continuous progressive, pro-labor presence at the Capitol, as well as providing a place where union members, activists, and citizens can come together and rejuvenate their spirits through song.

Date: 
August 25, 2011 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Location

Wisconsin State Capitol
2 E Main St at the top of State St
Session type: 
Panel

Skill Building: Core Values & History of Civil Disobedience

Looking back on history, we invite you to construct a timeline of civil disobedience -- drawing from moments in history as well as your personal experiences. What made non-violence an integral and effective element of the Civil Rights movement? We'll explore the core values of peaceful civil disobedience, through the looking glass of lunch counter sit-ins and the Freedom Rides of the 1960s, as well as the Reverend James Lawson's workshops that led to an unconditional commitment from participating activists -- what Martin Luther King, Jr, referred to as the "self-purification" step.

Date: 
August 25, 2011 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D229
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Henia Belalia

Transference of Community-Based Technology Initiative - Connecting Community Economies in Wisconsin and Venezuela

Workshop session aims to raise awareness and promote participation in the Transference of Community-Based Technology Initiative, a component of the Wisconsin – Venezuela Sister Cities Project. The session serves as an introductory discussion in preparation for a larger convening of cooperatives, collectives, locally owned and socially conscious businesses taking place in mid-September 2011. The initiative focuses on facilitating transnational economic cooperation by fortifying and expanding partnerships based on technology, skill/experience, and product exchange.

Date: 
August 25, 2011 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D329
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Mariela Alburges
Speaker(s): 
Sarah Manski

Solidarity Rally with State Workers

We Won't Pay For Your Crisis! On August 25th, Wisconsin state employees will receive a pay cut of up to 13%,  courtesy of Governor Walker and the State Legislature. Stand with State Workers to say: "Enough!" It's time that the corporate class pays its fair share.

Date: 
August 25, 2011 - 5:00pm

Location

Wisconsin State Capitol
Session type: 
Panel

Raging Grannies

Raging Grannies will sing at 6:45, so get the plenary early!

Date: 
August 25, 2011 - 6:45pm - 7:00pm

Location

The Madison Concourse Hotel
1 W Dayton St Wisconsin/Capitol Ballroom
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Raging Grannies

Local Control: Using Local Government to Influence National and International Issues

Local government is more accessible and accountable to their citizens than any other branch. We can use this avenue to challenge the political status quo and the large corporate powers to which national lawmakers and policymakers usually answer.

Date: 
August 26, 2011 - 9:00am - 10:30am

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D225
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Derek Cressman
Speaker(s): 
George Martin
Speaker(s): 
Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap
Speaker(s): 
Kaja Rebane

Minnesota Arms Spending Alternatives Project (MN ASAP)

Citizens in MN are beginning to use the community resolution process to instruct their national representatives to stop funding US military aggression and instead focus funding on desperately needed social services.

Date: 
August 26, 2011 - 11:00am - 12:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D225
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Nathan Ness

No Games Chicago: How We Derailed The Bid & Lessons for Defeating Mega-Projects

Learn how to stop huge corporate projects by exposing them as the illegitimate privatization efforts that they are and how to begin to engage your community in discussion about how best to use public money for community benefit.

Date: 
August 26, 2011 - 11:00am - 12:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D306
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Tom Tresser

Skill Building: The General Strike

On February 21st, the South Central Federation of Labor adopted a resolution that "endorse[d] a general strike, possibly for the day Walker sign[ed] his budget repair bill." That resolution caught the imaginations of many people nationwide, and set off an internal debate within the labor movement over whether to get behind the call for a general strike. What happened? Could it, should it happen in the future? And if so, what should proponents of the use of the general strike do to make certain that a general strike call is not suppressed, but instead, spreads to other regions and sectors?

Date: 
August 26, 2011 - 11:00am - 12:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D302
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Ben Manski
Speaker(s): 
Ed Sadlowski
Speaker(s): 
Eric Cobb
Speaker(s): 
Samantha Jordan

Using Local Laws to Create Food Sovereignty

Sedgwick, Maine has done what no other town in the United States has done. The town unanimously passed an ordinance giving its citizens the right “to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing.” This includes raw milk, locally slaughtered meats, and just about anything else you can imagine. It’s also a decided bucking of state and federal laws. Learn about this effort in Maine and how to do it in other places.

Date: 
August 26, 2011 - 11:00am - 12:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D329
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Barbara Clancy
Speaker(s): 
Jim Goodman

Solidarity Sing Along

Solidarity Sing Along began holding sing alongs at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison on March 11, 2011, and has held a sing along at noon every week-day since then. The sing alongs started up as the large protests and the Capitol occupation were ending. They serve to maintain a continuous progressive, pro-labor presence at the Capitol, as well as providing a place where union members, activists, and citizens can come together and rejuvenate their spirits through song.

Date: 
August 26, 2011 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Location

Wisconsin State Capitol
2 E Main St at the top of State St
Session type: 
Panel

Ensuring Racial Justice & Protecting Individual Rights While Empowering Local Communities

Date: 
August 26, 2011 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D329
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Glen Ford
Speaker(s): 
Keesha Gaskins
Speaker(s): 
Stan Taylor

The Community Empowerment Project: How to Invigorated Democracy in Your Community

This session will demonstrate how grassroots organizing can help people to have a meaningful voice in the political process from the local to the national level. Organizational rational, a grassroots training concept and specific products of this type of organization will be offered.

Date: 
August 26, 2011 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Location

The Madison Concourse Hotel
1 W Dayton St University ABC
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Dawn Sheegonee
Speaker(s): 
Jan Moore
Speaker(s): 
Nathan Timm
Speaker(s): 
R. Nelson

Building a Progressive Movement: Creating a Local Political Party & Using Local Government as a Mechanism for Social Change

Use electoral politics at the local level to elect local representatives who will use their office to build the democracy movement and pass legislation that protects community and people’s rights and challenges corporate interests.

Date: 
August 26, 2011 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Location

The Madison Concourse Hotel
1 W Dayton St University ABC
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Brenda K. Konkel
Speaker(s): 
Heidi M. Wegleitner
Speaker(s): 
Michael Johnson
Speaker(s): 
Shane Brinton

Skill Building: Building Multi-Racial Movements

Learn about experiences, positive and not-so, others have had building multi-racial unity. Share your experiences, learn about resources and make connections to strengthen your ability to do this essential work.

Date: 
August 26, 2011 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D333
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
kimayana johnson
Speaker(s): 
M Adams
Speaker(s): 
Ted Glick
Speaker(s): 
Z! Haukeness

Skill Building: Nov-Violent Direct Action as a Strategy in a Peaceful Movement

What is the difference between non-violence as a strategy and a tactic, as opposed to a way of life? How is non-violence effective and why does our Climate Justice movement need it? How can we learn from the past to create a sustained peaceful resistance, as opposed to random bursts of action?

Date: 
August 26, 2011 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D306
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Henia Belalia

Home Rule: How to Exercise Real Democracy at the Local Level

This session will explore the theory and practice of using local governments to make more democratic local decisions *and* to challenge the state and federal principles that often deny local autonomy and self-government.

Date: 
August 27, 2011 - 10:00am - 12:00pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D225
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Ben Manski

Participatory Budgeting for Your Community

In November 2009, Alderman Joe Moore and the residents of Chicago’s 49th Ward launched an experiment in democracy. In a series of public meetings and voting over six months, community members decided how to spend Moore’s $1.3 million discretionary budget. This marks the first time in the US that local people are able to directly decide on city budget spending through participatory budgeting. We will share how PB works in Chicago and explore how to use PB in other communities in the US.

Date: 
August 27, 2011 - 10:00am - 12:00pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D329
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Brenda K. Konkel
Speaker(s): 
Joe Moore
Speaker(s): 
Maria Hadden

Water: A Fundamental Right for People and Nature: Local to Global

Discussion of initiatives, from community ordinances to United Nations Conventions, to establish the fundamental right to water for people and nature; to prevent corporate commodification, control and pollution of water; and to ensure environmental justice for communities of color.

Date: 
August 27, 2011 - 10:00am - 12:00pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D332
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Alberto Saldamando
Speaker(s): 
Greg Coleridge
Speaker(s): 
Nancy Price
Speaker(s): 
Ruth Caplan

Deliberative Democracy: Making & Implementing Decisions

Learn how to engage citizens in the exploration and development of possibilities for public policy through small group discussions.

Date: 
August 27, 2011 - 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D225
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Dennis Boyer

Local Laws that Directly Challenge Corporate Rule

The session will explore the strategy of us using “municipal civil disobedience” to challenge corporate rights. Communities across the country have enacted legislation that asserts community rights over corporate rights. We will share these stories and discuss the impacts of these actions.

Date: 
August 27, 2011 - 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St 229
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
David Cobb
Speaker(s): 
Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap
Speaker(s): 
Ruth Caplan

PARTY FOR DEMOCRACY AT THE TERRACE with MICHELLE SHOCKED and EMMA's REVOLUTION and V05

It's a Madison tradition not to be missed: a summer evening at the Memorial Union Terrace. Join national musical acts Michelle Shocked, Emma's Revolution, and Madison's own VO5 at the Memorial Union Terrace. Music begins at 8:00pm, and runs late into the night. Get there early to secure your seat!

Date: 
August 27, 2011 - 8:00pm - August 28, 2011 - 12:00am

Location

Memorial Union Terrace
800 Langdon St.
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Emma's Revolution
Speaker(s): 
Michelle Shocked
Speaker(s): 
VO5

Skill Building: Being an Effective Ally in the Struggle for Equality

Rooted in the ways we each hold privilege and face oppression based on various systems such as race, class, gender, sexuality and age, we will discuss strategies together for taking principled action as an ally. 

Date: 
August 28, 2011 - 1:30pm - 3:00pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D333
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Ted Glick
Speaker(s): 
Z! Haukeness

Skill Building: Wielding the Graphic Arts

Tyler from the Beehive Design Collective will lead a hands-on workshop demonstrating collaborative methods of making "Graphics for the Commons" - powerful story-telling images that boost our movements.  Including collaborative idea-generation, the value of graphics to our work, and hands-on collaborative design. Everyone is welcome - YOU DON'T HAVE TO DRAW TO MAKE GREAT GRAPHICS!

Date: 
August 28, 2011 - 1:30pm - 3:30pm

Location

Madison College (MATC Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D229
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Tyler Norman

Wisconsin People's Assembly

This second Wisconsin People's Assembly will unite Wisconsinites from across the state in resolving how to move forward in the coming months to overcome corporatization and austerity, and to achieve democracy and shared prosperity for all. This session is for Wisconsin residents; friendly folks from out-of-state are welcome to observe.

Date: 
August 28, 2011 - 3:30pm - 6:00pm

Location

Madison College (MATC-Downtown Campus)
211 N Carroll St D240
Session type: 
Workshop
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