We the People...for the Common Good
Background and Purpose
Among the more than 190 countries worldwide that are recognized by the United Nations, 123 are said to be democratic. The governments of these countries are characterized by the participation of its people, under whatever form that may be. But what do we mean when we talk about democracy and what are the implications?
The word ‘democracy» can be traced to Greek and it is made up with two other words demos= People and kratein= to govern, to rule. Hence, Democracy on a basic level can be defined as Government of the People or Government of the Majority. It is different from other forms of government like a monarchy, aristocracy and dictatorship. In Abraham Lincoln’s famous words, democracy is ‘the government of the people, by the people and for the people’? This broad description of democracy has important implication for those who live in it. To facilitate democratic government and sustain its health, it requires an informed citizenry and capable public officials.
We acknowledge that not everyone can be well informed and that those who seek elected or appointed public offices are well prepared or informed as they can be about the duties, responsibilities, and limitations of the office. In an effort to strengthen democratic government and civic engagement in the United States and especially in the State of Oklahoma, We the People...for the Common Good, as non-partisan and non-policy based program, aims at providing comprehensive information about the duties and responsibilities of elected and appointed officials in Oklahoma at the state, county, and municipal level of government.
Scope and Road Ahead
We the People...for the Common Good serves as a central clearinghouse to identify, learn, and gain valuable insights about the duties, responsibilities, and experiences of elected and appointed officials in Oklahoma at the state, county, and municipal level of government.
Data collection has begun and currently focuses on southwest Oklahoma. Accordingly, Comanche County and its surrounding counties have served as the point of departure for data collection at the county level. Ultimately, anyone interested in government and seeking careers in this noble enterprise will be able to download the respective county data across the state by using the interactive county map below. In addition to the county level data, information about elected and appointed officials will be expanded to include municipal and state level data as well as video interviews with former public officials.