The Call for a New Covenant
"The premier resource of any country is the collaborative power of the hearts and minds of its people."
Stephan A. Schwartz, ‘The New Covenant Process’; from Blueprint for the Presidential Transition, Nov., 1992
The New Covenant Process will provide an opportunity for equal numbers of adults or teenagers, at least one from every household to be signatories on their neighborhood’s affirmation of the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
"Citizen participation is the way we engage people in a sense of decision making about what, in the final analysis after all, are the public resources, their destiny, their lives. Government can’t do this, business can’t do this, all of us together must do it. We must give people greater voice so that their values come through, so that there is a sense of empowerment, a sense of participation, and so that the spiritual dimension of what we’re about comes through as well."
Henry Cisneros, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, speaking to the National League of Cities, March, 1993.
The New Covenant Process will develop a community consensus on a shared vision for their neighborhood in the year 2010, the values they hold in common commitment, and guidelines for respectful and effective communication among themselves.
"I wish for vigor in the government, but I wish that vigorous authority to come from the legitimate source of all authority - the people. The government ought to possess not only the force, but the mind or sense of the people at large"
Bill Moyers in Report from Philadelphia quoting James Wilson at the Constitutional Convention, Summer, 1787
From the new foundation of trust generated by agreement on fundamental values and principles, each city will invent it’s own structure of policy formulation and decision making. The structure will be invented out of the needs of the neighbor-hood, combined with decades of self-help community development models proven to empower people to participate in education, economics, health improvement and decision making for the whole.
"At Monday’s Conference on the future of the American Workplace in Chicago, Preident Clinton, Secretaries Robert Reich of Labor and Ron Brown of Commerce and major business and labor leaders finally agreed on the solution to our economic malaise: our people. Developing and mobilizing the full productive potential of a company’s human assets - their competence, creativity, knowledge and energy - is the most powerful engine we have for economic growth."
Robert Rosen, Healthy Companies, Wash. D.C.; in the
L.A. Times ‘Perspective on Business’, July 28, 1993
Out of a decade and a half of research, we have found a handful of collective decision support systems, each with great track records. They combine tools, methods, and structure to deliver the group’s own genius back to itself in useful form. Each has paid attention to transferability using state-of-the-art tools and learning design.
"Among other improvements . . . adopt the sub-division of our counties into wards. Each ward would thus be a small republic within itself and every man (and woman) in the state would thus become an active member of a common government." Thomas Jefferson June 5, 1821
Educating people with video and direct experience, the New Covenant Process will build on working track records of successful self-help human develpment projects. The foundation of that precedent can allow neighborhoods to design their optimum local decision making structure. Application of the lessons learned will drive the invention of regional neighborhood assemblies, and renew local and regional marketplaces.
"The constitution has been the strongest possible safeguard for our free market system. It has nurtured the growth of our economy; encouraged creativity and inventiveness; spawned international trade and investment; . . . and most important, protected the rights of the individual as a participant in our economic system."
John F. Akers, in ‘The Constitution - The engine that drives the U.S. economy’; IBM’s Sept. 1987 issue of Think Magazine
Documentation will use a "Harvard Case Study" approach. We have all the pieces. It’s time we put them, and our heads, together. See the full , ‘The New Covenant Process’; by Stephan A. Schwartz in Blueprint for the Presidential Transition, Nov., 1992