I try to organize my civic work around four questions, the third of which is: How Do We Get There? What strategy, tactics, practices, institutions, and modes of civic thought and action available to us in the present will help advance us towards that vision?
I am working on books aiming to help answer each question for my generation of Americans. For this question, I am working on a book provisionally titled Civic Creativity: Democracy as a Platform for Our Public Projects. I have been arguing that civics can be about more than voting, deliberating, protesting and serving– it can be about creating, too! Civic creatives see that politics can be about: (1) spearheading new projects, as opposed to just participating in pre-existing institutions; (2) public problem-solving using multiple civic tools, as opposed to just changing laws; and (3) community action, as opposed to relying solely on government action. I am hoping this way of understanding civics can be used by community leaders and educators to change the way they educate for active citizenship and, in doing so, inspire more civic action. In the book, I am also hoping to supplement the theory with a practical handbook for civic revivalists of the present moment that includes the best practices of past civic revivalists facing similar challenges.