In 2020, in some of the darkest days of the COVID pandemic, one of our Open Democracy Team members proposed an "Open Democracy Book Club." To our surprise, 300 citizens registered for the first book and discussion in January. Certainly, the pandemic gave us some time at home to read, but the hunger to learn about the problems and how to fix them was there already. Our Book club now has 483 members.
To understand our three guiding questions, in relation to our democracy:
Where are we?
How did we get here?
What do we do about it?
Books and Discussions
We work on a new book every six weeks or so, culminating with a discussion. We have the author speak for 30 minutes, then break up into Zoom breakout rooms for small group discussions, usually facilitated by an Open Democracy staff member or volunteer.
Everyone is welcome to participate, whether or not you have had the chance to read the book.
Our Next Book!
Sept 15, 2022 - Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want Paperback by
How to Get the Book
While there's no cost for being a part of the Open Democracy Book Club, it's up to you to get the book. On the RSVP page for each of the events, we'll post information about the book, including the author's bio and ISBN number and other info you'll need to find it. We encourage you to order it through your local bookseller, get it from your local library but you order any way you wish.
June 9, 2022 -The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee
April 14, 2022 - How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
Jan 13, 2022 "Democracy in Chains" with Nancy MacLean
Oct 14, 2021 "Our Time is Now" by Stacey Abrams
May 27, 2021 "The Politics of Joy (and Sacrifice): The Fearless Walks and Historic Talks of Doris "Granny D" Haddock", a compilation of inspiring speeches given by Doris with Dennis Burke
Apr 15, 2021 "They Don't Represent Us" with Lawrence Lessig
March 4, 2021 "Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy". with David Daley
January 21, 2021 "Corporations are Not People: Reclaiming Democracy from Big Money and Global Corporations" by Jeff Clements
Sign Up Below
We'll notify you of the new book, the date of the discussion, and sometimes discussion questions. You'll also be added to the Open Democracy Book Club email discussion, where you'll be able to ask questions and have discussions with your fellow readers.
NH's Reputation as a Leader in Fair Elections May Be in Jeopardy - New Hampshire is fortunate to have higher than average civic engagement. Our state leaders often point to our status as the first-in-the-nation Presidential primary and our well-run elections as proof of the Granite State's exceptional civic involvement. In March 2021, Governor Sununu even called New Hampshire "the gold standard" for its electoral system.
NH Needs an Educated, Civically-Engaged Workforce - Businesses and organizations large and small depend on an educated, civically-engaged workforce.
In 2022, deliberate barriers to voting were set in law in New Hampshire. These barriers particularly impact young workers, students, folks who might want to move to New Hampshire for work. Companies considering expanding here may think long and hard before making a commitment.
Legislators Must Hear that Businesses Support a
Healthy Democracy - Below is a "Statement of Principles to Support New Hampshire's Democracy." We're asking your organization to consider signing on to these principles, which we will communicate to the New Hampshire legislature and Governor.
Please reach out with questions, suggestions, or comments:
Olivia Zink, Executive Director, Open Democracy
Sara Lobdell, Program Coordinator, Open Democracy
Statement of Principles
by New Hampshire Businesses and Organizations which support a healthy democracy
I. We believe that a NH government of, by, and for its citizens must safeguard the precious freedom to vote for ALL of its eligible citizens.
II. For the NH Government to truly represent its citizens, it must guarantee universally accessible and secure voting, and ensure there are no existing or future barriers to exercise that right.
III. We will not support, with our contributions or our votes, any candidates or elected representatives who initiate, vote for, or support laws that make voting more difficult for NH citizens. Nor shall we support those who oppose laws to make the voting process more efficient.
IV. Just as true prosperity in NH requires that all businesses play on a level playing field, we must have a level playing field for our elections and politics. Our NH voting districts must be based on valid census information and be free of manipulation by partisan voting data, and to ensure this, the redistricting process must be public, and its methods disclosed.
V. Together, we believe that when the electoral system is fair, and the constitutional rights and values of our citizens are honored, our NH Government will truly be “of the people," our economy will be prosperous, and both will work for the greater good of all.
This statement and its signers will be communicated to
The Governor, the Executive Council, the NH Senate and House, and the NH Secretary of State
Open Democracy Organizing Fellowship
Application and description HERE.
Open Democracy Research Fellowship
Application and description HERE.
How do I apply?
Email Olivia Zink [email protected] expressing your interest with a resume and cover letter to apply to either position.
Open Democracy is committed to an inclusive democracy movement. As such, we are an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to recruiting, hiring, training, promoting and administering any and all personnel actions without regard to gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, race, age, national origin, religion, economic status, or ability, or any other legally protected status, and will not tolerate discrimination or harassment.
Coalition for Open Democracy | 4 Park Street, Suite 301 | Concord, NH 03301 | 603.715.8197 www.OpenDemocracyNH.org| [email protected]
Carol Shea-Porter, Chair. – former member of Congress (D-NH); politics and history teacher; founder of a non-profit social service agency
John Broderick – former Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court; former Executive Director of the Rudman Center at University of New Hampshire Law School
Brad Cook – partner and past President of Sheehan Phinney Law Firm; Chair of the New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission
Lew Feldstein – past President of the NH Charitable Foundation; co-author of Better Together: Restoring the American Community
Paul Hodes – former member of Congress (D-NH); attorney; member, National Council on the Arts; founder of the Economic Innovation Institute
Joe Magruder – former News Editor, Associated Press of New Hampshire
Lillye Ramos Spooner – Director of Operations for Greater Manchester AIDS Project; former member of the NH Commission on the Status of Women
Stephen Reno – Executive Director of Leadership New Hampshire; former Chancellor of the University System of New Hampshire
John Rauh – former President of Americans for Campaign Reform, now part of Issue One; former Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate
Jim Rubens – entrepreneur; former Republican candidate for U.S. Senate; former New Hampshire state Senator
Betty Tamposi – Assistant Secretary of State under George H.W. Bush; as a state Representative, was Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee; former member of the Board of Governors of the University of New Hampshire
Dan Weeks – co-owner of ReVision Energy; former Executive Director of Open Democracy
** Affiliations listed for identification purposes only. Advisory Board members serve in their individual capacities.
Open Democracy is working to achieve political equality for all.
We envision a government accountable to the people, free from the influence of wealthy special interest groups.
- Volunteer, or join a regional Open Democracy Team! Right now, protecting our democracy needs you to speak up, and to take action.
- Give a one-time or recurring gift to help support our mission, if you're unable to take action. This helps us organize others and expand the chorus of voices for reform! You can also mail us a check to "Coalition for Open Democracy": 4 Park Street, Suite 301, Concord, NH 03301
We welcome your questions and ideas! Please contact us anytime:
4 Park Street, Suite 301
Concord, NH 03301