How to Create Democracy for Marginalized Communities

A fundamental step in creating a functioning society begins with civic education within our local communities. Everyone should be taught how their community works and who chooses the rules we live by. Civic education is a lifelong process, even for those who make decisions on behalf of the citizens they serve.

Another important component to creating democracy will be helping those who are able to vote learn how understand the importance of voting. Citizens live in a democratic nation. For a successful democracy, civic engagement is crucial; “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” depends upon it. Most importantly, marginalized communities should be aware of all of their rights and the ability to make their voice heard on political and social justice issues.

All of us should understand: voting, how to run for public office, what city council does, why people boycott / protest, how to volunteer for a political campaign, how to persuade others to vote, community problem solving. Civic literacy should be taught in schools and also include an understanding of social justice issues, such as racism, LGBTQ+ rights, disability rights, environment, science, and health.

Ways to create a successful democracy:

· Achieve greater community buy-in to decisions to local, state, national politics.

· A greater understanding of intersectionality.

· Improve trust between citizens and government.

· Develop better and more creative ideas and solutions, especially when it comes to local politics.

· Create more involved citizens.

· Higher voter turn out from the community.

In order to understand history, our democracy, and the need to protect democracy, civil and democracy literacy is mandatory — we must honor our past, but also plan for a better future. Many of schools in our country do not teach accurate or in-depth history to children. They teach that white people in history are heroes and do not focus on what really happened — whether it be the civil rights movement, history indigenous people, or the suffragette movement. The stories of women and people of color that have shaped this nation are rarely told. We need to create a better bridge of understanding for our children. It will only help our nation and society grow — and dismantle systems of oppression.

President Trump is attempting to dismantle the 2020 Election by removing ballot boxes, effect the postal system, and disrupt mail in ballots. This is the most important election of our lifetime because our democracy depends on it.

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Samantha Jackson

community organizer / intersectional feminist / Take That & NKOTB fan / fashion enthusiast