Strong democracy is based on self-governance and common responsibility. It requires the involvement of citizens, but the farther away decisions are made, the more excluded citizens feel, and the less they feel as if they can make a difference. This research makes a case for local democracy and tells the story of the Ashland County Park District in Ashland Ohio. The district is nine years old, has no public funding, yet has acquired 15 parks, and is managed by ordinary citizens. This paper explains the six democratic practices (Mathews, 2006) that were used to form the park district and are used continually in its operation.
Professor of Education, Department of Educational Foundations, Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio, USA
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