Email to my XR local group inviting to get involved
I am copying here an email I have sent to my local XR group to encourage people to get involved in the Hub or in our Local Democracy Working Group.
I have thought it may be useful as a template for any of you to reach your own peers as it has in my opinion all the relevant info. So please use it however it is useful for you.
Here is some info and links about the work that is happening in XR on building a democracy from the bottom. Beware it's a long email.
There is a website for the XR Future Democracy Hub. It looks nice but in my opinion it's not very intuitive. In the home page you find a kind of mission statement:
In XR we are calling for a transformation in our democracy to facilitate the necessary policies to address the climate and ecological emergency for all of us.
This transformation, to be successful, we believe requires new democratic tools to be embedded into the DNA of the culture at all levels from local communities to the highest levels of government.
The Future Democracy Hub is a central location and resource to support this transformation and all those who want to take an active part in it
To understand what this is all about I found this document very useful: Local Democracy Working Groups guide, it's an evolving document (currently 29 pages) where they explain:
The need for real democracy
The role of local democracy working groups to achieve real democracy
Tools used in real democracy: peoples assemblies, talk shops, empathy circles, citizens assemblies, action groups, etc
Reclaiming local politics by taking the councils: flatpack democracy,
etc, etc and big etc
This Loomio channel is XR Future Democracy Hub discussion platform. It's a kind of forum with some extra functionalities. it's mission is described in the home page:
The primary intention of this platform is to support people running democratic sessions in their own communities. You do not have to be a member of XR to support this uptake of new democratic tools in society.
I signed up before Christmas but only engaged with it after new year. In there you can find many different discussions from theory about what is democracy, practical issues like how to best build a network of facilitators or how to approach councillors, what are local groups up to, events, training, videoconference chats and many other interesting things.
XR Facilitator network: there is also the possibility of showing interest in the process by joining the XR Facilitator network while avoiding getting involved in the Loomio channel which has high traffic and may require more time and mental space.
You can register here, I have registered but nothing has happened yet.
I believe it's an email list but I am not sure. The picture I have is that the Facilitators are the ones doing the work in their communities while the Future Democracy Hub members are there to help them with training and resources and advocate to expand the Facilitators network.
Machynlleth Local Democracy working group: in December XXX, YYY and myself took part in a Democracy Mobilisation Webinar (aka videoconference to talk about all of this) and autonomously formed a working group. We have a WhatsApp group for internal communication. After our last XR meeting on Tuesday, ZZZ and JJJ joined the group.
We haven't done anything and there is no clear plan yet, just the intention. Hopefully once the membership of the group is well established we will meet and it will become clearer what we want to do.
What's next? Do you want to get involved?
As shown above there are 2 different processes going on: the Future Democracy Hub and the Local Democracy Working Groups.
I am very interested in both so I am going to stay actively connected to the Hub as building real democracy everywhere has always been my political dream. But also I want push for an active local working group.
We don't need everybody to be everywhere and our XR group does a lot already, so please no pressure. However if you want to actively take part on this process please think what you want to do and follow the links above for joining the hub and/or ask any of us to join the WhatsApp Machynlleth Local Democracy working group.
This is so super exciting and revolutionary but keep expectations low for now my dears. This is just the beginning, the big scale changes are to come but it will take time.
This is my own opinion that I want to add at these first steps: our potential achievements in the short term may seem irrelevant when we face a climate collapse and our current democratic system doesn't really work. So let's not forget that we live in a small town and we are "powerless", the chances to make big changes with an impact in the big picture of problems is minimal. For example we are not going to sort the climate emergency in Machynlleth just by ourselves.
Building real democracy in Machynlleth will make the town be what its inhabitants want it to be, which by itself is a great achievement. But that is only the start and what we can aim for in the short term. The impacts on the big picture will come later once we have reached radical inclusivity, once we are able to actively listen to each other and finally once the community trusts this real democracy process. When all of this is part of our day to day culture here in Machynlleth and in towns and cities all over the place, new real democratic structures will raise at other levels and power will finally rely on people and not on parliaments, parties or professional politicians.
So, yeah keep the expectations low for now but keep them high for the future!
Love and revolution,