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Democracy Matters Newsletter Mar 2013


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MARCH 2013

Our main news is about our fabulous new website (thanks to George Efstathiou), our Parliament Week forum, Global Democracy, a ‘Parliament for Health’ and SMK’s People Power conference and other events.

Our new website has a lot of incredible features to support people getting involved in practical politics and our members …

  • Use the Democracy Diary to look out for opportunities to influence decision-makers and events by members. You can also post your events and subscribe to get events posted 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.
  • You can also join the community to connect with like-minded people, use forums and strengthen our commitment to strengthening democracy.

The website aims to promote all members and organisations working for democracy, practical politics and campaigning. To search websites of over 30 national organisations, simply use “search our members’ websites” on the top right of the home page. The website is a platform to support all our members and people taking action. Give it a spin and see where you can go.


It’s Our Parliament:

Working with Public Engagement, Learning and Parliamentary Outreach.
Over 50 people met in Portcullis House on 28th February to find out how Public Engagement, Learning (PEAL) can help people have a stronger voice. “Women and Democracy” is the theme for this year, but we discussed much more.

Volunteering with Democracy Matters:

Volunteer Meeting. 22nd March, 11am – 1pm (London) If you would like to help develop Democracy Matters, we are holding a volunteer briefing on 22nd March from 11 – 1pm in London: To find out more, please email .

People Power Conference:

London: 24th April
People Power, the one-day annual campaigning conference to help charities, not-for-profit organisations and individuals campaign more effectively. It is organised by the Sheila McKechnie Foundation (SMK) and The Good Agency. It will bring charity and NGO campaigners together with leading thinkers from government, media and the corporate sector to share experiences and discuss lessons from the past to shape the future of campaigning. High profile human rights lawyer and Founder and Director of Reprieve, Clive Stafford Smith will open the event as Keynote speaker. He will share knowledge and experience from over 20 years’ campaigning. The day will close with a keynote speech from the inspirational Hillsborough campaigner Margaret Aspinall. SMK are offering a few free conference places to campaigners who cannot afford the conference fee, or to not-for-profit organisations with an income of less than £100,000. For information about the full line up and tickets, please see here. Do we need a ‘Parliament for Health’ to cure the NHS?: My blog on the need for a new form of democratic accountability in health, in response to the Francis Report on the Mid-Staffordshire Hospital Scandal has also been published by ResPublica, Open Democracy and Compass for discussion across the political spectrum.

Charter for Global Democracy:

Democracy matters at all levels, from local to global. I am working with the One World Trust to call on world leaders to strengthen accountability and equality in international decision-making. Charter 2020 builds on the Charter 99 for Global Democracy and is addressed to the UN High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda co-chaired by David Cameron. To read and sign go to new Charter 2020.

SMK: One Day Campaign Workshops:

Norwich: 15th March Birmingham:
22nd March Gloucester with GAVCA: 19th April
Brighton with Brighton CVS: 26th April
ALL @ 9.45-4.00
For details and to book go to Sheila McKechnie Foundation .

Inspiring Local Leadership:

London: 24th – 26th April
A 3-day residential programme for senior managers of local community support organisations with NAVCA – details here

UK Youth Parliament:

Run by young people, the UK Youth Parliament gives 11-18 year-olds a voice to bring about change: enter your postcode to find local activities and representatives and get involved.

Civic Day:

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

Do You Remember Raymond Williams?:

8-10 May (Sheffield)

The Raymond Williams Foundation‘s 25th annual residential is at Wortley Hall on Wednesday 8 to Friday 10 May, Sheffield.

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

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!
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