Restoring Faith in Our Democracy

In her new book, Sarah Stitzlein expresses a growing concern shared by many other Americans – which is that our democracy stands on shaky ground: “As wary citizens grow increasingly distrustful of elected officials and their fellow citizens, they turn to authoritarian alternatives.”  There is, however, a strategy that I’ve observed throughout my career (and is supported by many of the points that Sarah makes in her book) which can overcome this distrust.  That strategy is providing citizens with opportunities to come together and make a difference.  Giving citizens a legitimate voice in addressing challenges and opportunities impacting them and their public schools is a powerful remedy for reducing cynicism and increasing hope.  If I’ve heard it said once, I’ve heard it said dozens and dozens of times over the past 25 years in communities throughout Ohio: “Coming together like this has has restored my faith in our democracy.”

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