Chapter 9, section II. D.
II. D (1164/1k wds). Early years of Phase III old tools for new problems
1 (275/250 wds).
The start of this part of Phase III, in synchronization with the other three parts of this phase, will perhaps be a bit easier in the very beginning, since we are taking old and familiar tools and adapting them for the current work at hand. One familiar tool, at least to those interested in public participation in policy making, is the citizen’s jury. With a more robust educational system in place at this point, some 35 years, give or take 5, since the start of our overall work on this project, more US citizens will be prepared with the empathetic critical thinking skills to address such issues. Likewise, an old tool like the CCC can be updated and brought back in a form suitable to address the current needs of the nation, while teen or youth courts can likewise be added in more cities, as we learn to trust our youth to make reasonable decisions for their peers, and for us. Monetary tools like 1930s stamp scrip, updated as with Ithaca Hours, or even Time Banks, are another set of tools that local communities can use to help implementing a variety of initiatives even where federal funding is scarce. Finally, tools like PB, already used in places from Porto Alegre to Paris, should be updated for cities across the US, as our citizens become more accustomed to taking fuller part in the complex decision making of reviewing and contributing to budget agendas in their local communities. All of these tools will need to be adapted for the local needs of each city in which they are used, by local residents who best know local needs.
2 (254/250 wds).
Measuring the progress, and the reaching of milestones for this part of Phase III, in the early years, will again involve volunteers from each community working together to decide on how to set such markers for their specific community, and how to coordinate time frames with other communities, assuming that this is still useful and viable for those communities. The growing numbers of Teen or Youth Courts and increasing numbers of cases handled by them, can constitute the initial set of statistics, available for past years as public record, presumably. Similarly, an increasing set of citizen’s jury studies can serve to indicate uptake of this tool, as can the number of state level versions of the CCC, as it is updated by community, and advocated for bringing back in modified form on the federal level. The number of active local currency systems, by both community and by state, can be both tracked and aided by more established currency system organizers, such as those in Ithaca, NY, and Time Banks, USA and even Time Banks, UK, if they have returned to the egalitarian ethos of time banking as founded by Edgar Cahn. Finally, some way of measuring the progress with introducing the idea of rotating teachers around states, and eventually around the country as many in Europe do, should be started, state by state. Starting with basic numbers of school board meetings attended to introduce the idea, moving to numbers of lawmakers contacted via letter requesting introduction of the idea to their state legislatures, perhaps.
3 (345/250 wds).
The tools and 1-minute activities for the start of this part of Phase III will involve taking familiar tools, like voting related tools, and adapting or updating them for current needs and localities, community by community, but in coordination with the nation wide movement to update and share tools both within and between communities engaged in this project, and also with the wider public. Ranked Choice Voting, aka irv, should, by this time, be in use across a number of states, as in Maine, NY, and California began even before 2021. PB and Citizen’s Juries are tools that may need more education around their use, and thus more 1-minute activities to inform and promote them, sharing links and articles for where to learn how to use or adapt both of these ideas as needed, and to introduce them in cities where they are not already in use, moving gradually up to the entire state level, for both. Family and local history archiving is another idea whose time ought to have arrived, by this time, as local library branches facilitate the writing and local publishing of books on community history, and of each family in that local community. TheAbuelaVida project, begun in 2016, for sharing the stories of every person’s grandmother, should be spreading across communities and into local library branches as part of the local history books project. Another old idea that could be revived to help reframe ways of thinking is the calendar reform project of the World Calendar, or also that of the Holocene Era calendar. Resetting our reference year from 2021 to 12021, as proposed by Italian-American scientist Cesare Emiliani, could be one more way to help reset our ways of thinking to include all human beings as part of our frame of reference for human rights. Finally, free language learning, with the encouragement of learning at least two, preferably three languages, each from a different language family whenever possible, is another important way of learning to see things from another point of view, and can be helpful to this project.
4 (259/250 wds).
The practical use of many of these tools may become more clear to more people after education around the need for those tools, as the Holocene Calendar, and how to use those tools work, as with RCV/irv. Once people are familiar with what the various new or updated old tools can do, and how they work, their practical value will become clear. Teen or Youth Courts, for example, apparently saved a good bit of money in the long run in terms of reduced recidivism rates in DC, according to Dr. Edgar Cahn’s remarks in 2011, but the lack of funds for long term follow up with those involved in this effort makes evaluating the benefits more difficult. Thus, volunteers will need to be available, or interns, from the social science fields, perhaps, to continue on following up on the results of these projects with participants who have used each of the adapted tools over a period of as many years as possible. The CCC, for instance, created jobs, educational opportunities, and infrastructure upgrades, and could well do so again. Those are obvious practical benefits, but symbolic benefits also make a difference. Cooperation, learning together, working as a team, all are symbolized by both youth judging their peers, and by youth working together in different parts of the country. Local currencies, citizens’ juries, PB, all also symbolize cooperation and trust. Calendar reform further even, symbolizes the building of more hope and new ways of thinking that will be needed more than ever to solve the world’s increasingly difficult problems.