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Democracy Matters Action Update June 2013

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JUNE 2013

Welcome to Bite the Ballot, our latest member: meet them on 10th July, at our forum on the EU elections with Jean Lambert MEP and Unlock Democracy’s Vote Match.
Note that the SMK Campaigner Awards are open until 1pm on 17th June (see below).

This month’s hot topic is health, simmering quietly and likely to boil over in a year or two.

For more on these items, Vinspired and our diary of events, read on …

Bite the Ballot
Welcome to Bite the Ballot , an exciting new project to involve young people in politics. Bite the Ballot are running a National Registration Day on 5th February 2104 (anniversary of the Great Reform Act 1832) with Teach First, a “Rock Enrol Tour” and “My Manifesto” for your young people to say what they want in 2015: visit their website to get in touch.

DO THE EUROPEAN ELECTIONS MATTER?This is an opportunity for civil society and education providers do discuss what the elections are about and how to help people understand what they will decide.

Speakers include:
Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London
Michael Sani, Bite the Ballot inspiring young people to vote
Matthew Oliver on Vote Match Europe,
Unlock Democracy (Vote Match UK)
Titus Alexander, Convener, Democracy Matters: Democracy and Global Governance
Millicent Scott, Education Projects Manager: The role of the information office of European Parliament

5 to 6:30 pm Wed, July 10, 2013 at Europe House, 32 Smith Square, SW1P 3EU London

Share this event:
If this link doesn’t work book here: http://eu-democracymatters.eventbrite.com/

SMK campaigner Awards open to 17 June
The 2013 SMK Campaigner Awards offer fantastic support for emerging campaigners. Nominations are open until 1pm Monday 17th June – Apply now or nominate someone you know (for details see award categories)

Volunteering with Democracy Matters
Our next volunteer briefing is from 11-1, on 24 June at Unlock Democracy in London: to find out more, please email titus@democracymatters.info

Hot Topic: NHS Civil Society Assembly
Following my blogs on a ‘Parliament for Health’ I have been invited to a ‘design day’ for the NHS Civil Society Assembly on 8 July. This has not had much public discussion, but it could be a small step towards a more democratic health system. We need greater participation and accountability at all levels – transforming local services into mutuals/ cooperatives, strengthening Health and Well Being Boards to oversee all health services in their area (including GPs) and creating a national ‘Parliament for Health’.

Most people have little idea about the changes to the NHS, but it is likely that more local hospitals and services will be at risk of closure or take-over as a result of decisions by Clinical Commissioning Groups. Fights over closures, as in Lewisham will increase, while public health and social care could become even more marginalised.

To follow discussions see Mark Gamsu’s Local Democracy and Health, the National Community Activists Network, M-A-C’s Public Involvement Blog @publicinvolve, and Open Democracy’s Our NHS forum. There is also a debate among charities about whether they will be able to win contracts under the new commissioning regime. For an alternative vision, see this proposal to Repeal and Replace Health Act 2012.

To have your say in health and social care, contact your local HealthWatch.

Tell Unlock Democracy what its campaign priorities should be: reform of lobbying, proportional representation, freedom of information, House of Lords, etc, at its Tracking Poll.

Young people leading change with vInspired
Thousands of young people voted for what they wanted to change: the top causes were self-esteem, street crime, unemployment and homelessness. Find out more about the amazing young people leading on them online and at vInspired Live on Saturday 6 July 2013, 3pm-6pm at The Roundhouse, London. Celebrity mentors will help make the ideas a reality: young people aged 16-25 register for free.


FORTHCOMING EVENTS:

Community Sector Coalition Starfish event
Tuesday, 11th June
12 noon – 2 pm
Manchester: Bridge 5 Mill, 22A Beswick Street, M4 7HR
Matt Scott will lead a discussion on activism’s challenges and NCIA’s new publication “Here we stand”. The second hour will be mini-workshops led by anyone who suggests a topic on the day using an Open Space format. See Community Sector Coalition for background.

Campaign Bootcamp
16th to 21st June
Five day residential course
For people age 18 to 28 on how to run effective campaigns, using the internet. Cost £200 includes food, lodging and training. See http://campaignbootcamp.org.

Educating the Nation(s): The Politics of History, Education & Identity in the UK
6th July
This conference at the University of Huddersfield will bring together politicians, policy-makers, educationalists, academics from a range of disciplines, and other interested parties to present and discuss multi-disciplinary research concerning the politics of history, education and identity in the UK. Call for Papers.

Opening Up Lobbying in Parliament with Unlock Democracy
17th June
6.15 – 8 pm
House of Commons Committee Room 10

Speakers:
Jon Trickett, Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office
Tamasin Cave, Spinwatch and member of Alliance for Lobbying Transparency
Peter Facey, Director of Unlock Democracy
Twitter it: #OpenUpLobbying

vInspired Live!
Saturday 6 July
3 pm – 6 pm
The Roundhouse, London

See Rick Edwards, Gemma Cairney, Professor Green, Levi Roots, Brook Kinsella, Olympians Zoe Smith and Pete Waterfield, with other amazing artists and inspirational speakers with the goal to change the world. Young people aged 16-25 register for free.

Educating the Nation(s): The Politics of History, Education & Identity in the UK
6th July
This conference at the University of Huddersfield will bring together politicians, policy-makers, educationalists, academics from a range of disciplines, and other interested parties to present and discuss multi-disciplinary research concerning the politics of history, education and identity in the UK. Call for Papers.

Learning Citizenship in Schools
9th July
The ACT conference is a great day for citizenship teachers and education professionals. Our keynote speaker will be David Blunkett MP, political founder of Citizenship Education and a key ally in maintaining the status of the Citizenship in the new curriculum: Book your place now.
ACT members get discounts: become a member here.

Civic Day is this month!
22 June
Annual Civic Society day of events to celebrate where people live: download booklet,’101 Civic Ideas’ for inspiration here.

Women and Democracy: 15 – 23 Nov 2013:
It’s not too early to start planning how you want to make the most of Parliament Week!


Use our website:
Democracy Matters can support our members and people getting involved in politics in many ways:

  • Use the Democracy Diary to find opportunities to influence decisions and events by members, post your events at and subscribe to get events into your calendar.
  • Use the Democracy Café to share links, images, videos, and other rich content from the web, discuss issues and campaigns you are involved in.
  • Campaign Clinic lets you post questions about things you want to address, so that we can learn from each other.
  • Join the community to connect with people, use forums and strengthen democracy.

To search websites of over 30 national organisations, simply use “search our members’ websites” on the top right of the home page.


Please pass on this information to your networks, acknowledging Democracy Matters, and let me know what you’re doing.
Best wishes,


Titus Alexander
Convener,
Democracy Matters
Mobile: 07720394740
titus@democracymatters.org.uk
www.democracymatters.org.uk

may be copied, adapted & used with attribution for non-commercial purposes, with acknowledgement to Democracy Matters

Democracy Matters is an informal alliance for learning practical politics which grew out of nine regional events involving over 600 people.Download Campaigning is OK! free of charge.

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