We propose to create a forum
of international, democratic debate
for the people,
for their grass roots organizations,
for concerned scientists
and those engaged in politics
who have decided to put the goal
of strengthening political participation
of ordinary citizens on the top
of their agenda.
We know that municipal (and regional)
democracy cannot but fail if society at large is not fully democratized,
in the sense of meaningful influence and a real voice for the majority
that is at present allowed only to vote while the important decisions are
taken by professional politicians susceptible to the pressures of the few
with a lot of money.
But we also know that society at
large cannot be fully democratic if local (and regional) affairs are left
unattended by local people failing to empower themselves to decide the
very things that affect them in an essential way at their very own doorstemps.
a forum of
debate . . .
Local reform, aiming
at an increased say
of the many in
everything that is vital
for their communities,
is the prerequisite for
democracy in our societies.
The legal and economic
hindrances that we will encounter
cannot all be removed by the
isolated actions of local citizens
for urban democracy
so we need to team up
with other citizens
in other communities (and regions),
nationally and world-wide,
to increase the pressure for a
humane modernization and conversion
of our societies,
in the sense of a more genuine
democracy = rule of the people,
by the people,
for the people.
Urban Democracy Group, Aachen, Germany