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This month's newsletter features the following sections: Announcements, State of the Organization, Deliberations, and DL (Democratic Lottery) Roundup of articles, papers, and reports of interest. To see the accompanying graphics, be sure your email client or browser is set to display images. 


From the Editor

Welcome to the DWE newsletter. Feedback is appreciated. Please send your responses to content and relevant links to articles, papers, and reports of interest, as well as proposals for "Deliberations" articles and other features to

DWE December Monthly Meeting: Holiday Party

Tuesday, December 14, 9:00-10:00 PM Eastern (6:00-7:00 PM Pacific)

Come a few minutes early and meet people informally.
Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 884 1682 8865, Passcode: 508361
Featuring a Presentation by Byers:
Sortition Santa will be here
We will be sharing our wins and our woes with our Winter Solstice Sortition Well-Wishers. Feel free to bring a bite and beverage. Get cozy with DWE company.

December DWE Board Meeting

Thursday, December 2,⋅7:00-9:00 PM Eastern (4:00 – 6:00 PM Pacific)
Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 819 3647 3365
Passcode: 141489


Check your email. You have been paired with someone and someone has been paired with you. Don't let' em down! Write back! Send an email back. Make a FaceTime/Zoom call happen.
Send a letter/card/wedding certificate!

We will be sharing our wins and our woes with our Winter Solstice Sortition Well-Wishers on 12.14.2021 at 6pm PST/9pm EST.
Feel free to bring a bite and beverage. Get cozy with DWE company.
  • For more details, please feel free to inundate Byers ( because there's no such thing as too many emails for this one.
Slides from Last Month's Meeting Presentation
Slides from Kayla Evans' presentation: "What can we learn from America in One Room: Climate and Energy" are available to download HERE.
There are exciting changes happening in the organization. The Mock CA is close to being launched. A Small Grants Program is established and funded with a $2500 donation!

The third change is more challenging. I am stepping down from my role as Operations Coordinator, effective in the Spring. I've been the point person for the organization since it began almost three years ago, and I look forward to being a regular member and playing with writing and multimedia. 

The Board is looking at various models for the position: one person as Operations Coordinator, two people sharing the role, horizontal management, etc.

No matter what the Board decides, we need to have the administrative tasks shared among more people. If you have good organizational skills, consider helping out on the Coordinating Committee. We need an individual willing to devote several hours a month for each of the following tasks:

  • handle the information flow as we set up the Small Grants Program
  • coordinate the Monthly Meeting: scheduling speakers that the Committee has chosen, establishing the Zoom link, recording the meeting, etc. 
  • build a national live meeting for the organization for post-COVID time--maybe next year

Outside the Coordinating Committee, two areas could use the help of an assistant: Assistant Editor for the Newsletter and Assistant Webmaster for the website.
If you are interested in filling any of these roles, or the role of Operations Coordinator, contact me. We are on the cusp of growth and we need your help!

Owen Shaffer
Operations Coordinator
  • We need a Cyber Security Consultant to advise the Webmaster on website security. So, if you have expertise in this area, and are willing to make yourself available on occasion, please contact Dave Tarby.
  • This newsletter is ready for for an assistant editor to help with content gathering, monitoring article sources for the Round Up section, artwork, assembling, editing, proofing, etc. No experience necessary. Become a desktop publishing master! Contact the Editor


We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.

                    --  Louis D. Brandeis

Season four ("The Land That Never Has Been Yet") of the Scene on Radio podcast, produced by the Center for Democracy Studies at Duke University, takes a deep dive into the problems of democracy in America. The season contains twelve one-hour podcast episodes, beginning with "Rich Man's Revolt" about the founding, and continuing through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to the present day. I've included a link in DL Roundup below, but want  to make a few comments about why I thought it's an important program, despite the fact it misses the boat completely on sortition--democratic lotteries are never mentioned.

The series captures the troubles with elections that have caused many of us jump ship and embrace democracy by lot. The story goes back to the Greeks, who distilled democracy down to three fundamental pillars: the right to be heard, the right to participate in political deliberation, and the right to hold office. It moves on to demonstrate all the ways we fail to live up to this ideal in the United States, and do not yet have a real democracy. Democracy advocates in the field, whether for sortition or fairer elections, face the same obstacle: entrenched political and economic power, which does not yield voluntarily. 

In my view we won't achieve a real democracy until we abandon the effort to make elections work and replace them with democratic lotteries. But suppose we do. Will giving out power by lot obviate the forces that now conspire to prevent fair elections?

What's useful in the series is its painting of the challenges we've been up against, in particular the tension between capitalism and democracy that has been present in this land since the beginning. We're only in the early stages of our efforts to implement democratic lotteries as an alternative to elections. And it's probably naive to assume that even if we're successful, that tension is going to go away. It will likely persist in ways we cannot imagine, but to which programs like this offer clues. 

-- Wayne Liebman

Unburden yourself.  Send articles/suggestions to:
Please submit suggested links for next month's roundup HERE.
From John Huang
The Sortition FAQ - All you want to know about democracy by lottery

Compelling advocacy from the substack of DWE's own John Huang.
Interview with Adam Cronkright
How We Can Make Our Democracy Better
from "Scene on Radio" Podcast 
The Land That Never Has Been Yet
Twelve part series on democracy in America 

What are folks talking about on DWE slack

General: Request for feedback on board activities

Board:  Should we engage with the Movement for the People’s Party?

Also: Slack enables private conversations between any two people in the organization! Build those lateral one on one connections!! Are you new to DWE and you have some questions? Slack is the place to get your answers and asking will help others who are new too! Join in!
How to Connect on DWE Slack
Here's a quick guide for using Slack: QUICK GUIDE.
Here's our Slack workspace invite: JOIN SLACK
Chris Forman leads the Slack Channel and can be reached at

Slack complements our existing Facebook group led by Nick Coccoma. 
Copyright ©2021 Democracy Without Elections, Quotation with attribution permitted.


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