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Who's the 'we' in 'yes, we can'?

A recent op-ed by Bill Doherty and Albert Dzur is very helpful, it seems to me, in agitating in a positive way beyond the service frame the Obama administration is using to define citizenship so far.

"The truth is that ordinary citizens will not become involved in tackling the nation's problems unless the professionals who run government, health care, education and social services change the way they think about their work. Fortunately, there is an alternative mindset growing among professionals: citizen professionalism, where professionals see themselves as catalyzing and working alongside everyday citizens who share the mission to improve health care, education, criminal justice, the environment and other areas. The citizen professional understands that to begin to fix wicked problems, he or she needs active collaboration with real publics, not symbolic or virtual ones. Not focus groups but focused communities."

Read the op-ed published in Saturday's St. Paul Pioneer Press (or download article)

Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs