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Caption: A resident of Chicago's 49th Ward., Credit: Melissa Beck
Image by: Melissa Beck 
A resident of Chicago's 49th Ward. 

Groundwork: Democracy Close to Home

From: The Center for Documentary Studies
Length: 54:01

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A timely one-hour special, hosted by NPR's Scott Simon, that tells stories of American democracy at the local level. We listen in as people wrestle with issues alongside -- and in opposition to -- their neighbors. Episodes in Upstate New York, North Carolina, Texas, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Alaska. Good through the election and beyond.

Img_5061_small At a time of political gridlick and polarization at the national level, Groundwork explores the tone and flavor of democratic action in towns and cities, where one’s antagonist is not an opposing talking head or a politician from a state of a different “color,” but a neighbor.
 
The one-hour special includes these stories:

Energy: The people of Caroline, New York wrestle over the controversial gas drilling method known as fracking. Producer: Jonathan Miller

Civil Rights / Values: The debate over North Carolina’s Marriage Amendment in an African American church in Hickory, NC. Producer: John Biewen. [A version of this story aired on Weekend Edition on May 6. That segment is expanded in this special.]

Immigration: In San Juan, Texas, the debate over how aggressively to police the border. Producer: Maria Martin

Citizen control of government spending: The “participatory budgeting” experiment in Chicago’s 49th Ward. Producer: John Biewen [This story aired on Weekend Edition Saturday on May 26.]

Young people and democracy: A look at how young people are engaging in politics and social action four years after the Obama Wave. Producer: Karen Michel in Los Angeles.

Environment: Fishermen in Kodiak, Alaska, their livelihoods threatened by ocean acidification, take steps to make their voices heard on carbon emissions. Producer: John Biewen

Piece Description

At a time of political gridlick and polarization at the national level, Groundwork explores the tone and flavor of democratic action in towns and cities, where one’s antagonist is not an opposing talking head or a politician from a state of a different “color,” but a neighbor.
 
The one-hour special includes these stories:

Energy: The people of Caroline, New York wrestle over the controversial gas drilling method known as fracking. Producer: Jonathan Miller

Civil Rights / Values: The debate over North Carolina’s Marriage Amendment in an African American church in Hickory, NC. Producer: John Biewen. [A version of this story aired on Weekend Edition on May 6. That segment is expanded in this special.]

Immigration: In San Juan, Texas, the debate over how aggressively to police the border. Producer: Maria Martin

Citizen control of government spending: The “participatory budgeting” experiment in Chicago’s 49th Ward. Producer: John Biewen [This story aired on Weekend Edition Saturday on May 26.]

Young people and democracy: A look at how young people are engaging in politics and social action four years after the Obama Wave. Producer: Karen Michel in Los Angeles.

Environment: Fishermen in Kodiak, Alaska, their livelihoods threatened by ocean acidification, take steps to make their voices heard on carbon emissions. Producer: John Biewen

Broadcast History

Debut. Some segments aired on Weekend Edition

Timing and Cues

00:00 - 01:00: Billboard
01:00 - 06:00 Blank for newscast
06:00 - 06:30 Begin Program: Music bed
06:30 - 19:00 Segment A
19:00 - 20:00 Music bed
20:00 - 39:00 Segment B
39:00 - 40:00 Music bed
40:00 - 59:00 Segment C

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
Never Talk About It Tift Merritt See You on the Moon. Fantasy 2010 01:00
Skinny Love Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago. Atlantic 2007 01:00
Yankee Doodle Dandy The Mexicali Brass Hello Dolly. Crownstar 2006 02:30
We Want These Prayers (As They Are Recited) Birchwood Cat Motel These Prayers. Corpus Hermeticus 2001 01:00
Mahalla Carolina Chocolate Drops Leaving Eden. Nonesuch 2012 :45
Plattenspiel Marcio Doctor Idyllen. Schoner Horen 2006 :45
This Land is Your Land Everclear The Vegas Years. Capitol 2008 :30
Somebody That I Used to Know Gotye featuring Kimbra Making Mirrors. Eleven 2011 :45

Additional Credits

Host: Scott Simon
Editor: Deborah George
Segment reporters/producers: Maria Martin, Karen Michel, Jon Miller
Funded by a major grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Related Website

http://groundworkproject.org/