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Civic Journalism

In addition to the Corporation for Public Community Newspapers, please consider supporting independent local journalism in and around Eugene, Lane County, and Oregon:


General


Specialized / focused


National / International (Locally connected)



(and please suggest more)

Please donate to support our local civic journalism projects here in Eugene and Lane County, such as this month's featured project:

Journo Duty

Designed as a civics education hands-on lab, Journo Duty engages students and community members as local journalists to tell the most important stories in our community today. This highly-structured civics program teams resident Journos with experienced reporters and editors over the course of multiple sessions, as our Journos:

  • Propose and discuss their news story ideas

  • Prepare for their interviews or meetings

  • Record for their chosen media

  • Produce and share their news stories with the community.

Journo Duty is recorded live at a local community gathering, such as a Zoom meeting, school auditorium or concert hall.

Click at left to donate using PayPal, or send a check to: CPCN, 4785 Fox Hollow Rd, Eugene OR 97405. CPCN is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your donation is tax-deductible. Please include an address where we can reach you.

News of the Future

"News of the Future" imagines that we live under our next constitutional system. We now have a system of self-government that honors all human rights, offers safety and security to all members of our human family, and extends this respect to the biodiversity and natural processes of the planet. What kinds of stories will we need for the News of the Future?

Click at left to donate using PayPal, or send a check to: CPCN, 4785 Fox Hollow Rd, Eugene OR 97405. CPCN is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your donation is tax-deductible. Please include an address where we can reach you.


The 1787 United States Constitution was established as the supreme law of the land at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. It was a great innovation in its day. And yet, it still does not grant equal rights to women, Indigenous peoples, and "all other persons" listed in Article I, Section 2.

Our founding document created the legal basis for color-caste slavery, with incentives for slaveholders in its "three-fifths" clause---states with more slaves were granted greater political power.

In fact, four big cogs in our constitutional machinery---the House, Senate, Electoral College, and decennial census---were designed specifically to support white supremacy. Those are the cogs that enabled slave states and free states to participate equitably in a federal assembly.

This legal system has always produced white supremacist outcomes. Even after the Civil War amendments, this constitutional machinery produced lynching, Jim Crow laws, up through the police murder of George Floyd.

As our population becomes more diverse, a growing percentage of white people believe that they and their descendants will NOT be better off in a multicultural, multiracial democracy. They absolutely have the right to consider what is best for their families and their loved ones, based on a lifetime of observations of people and governments. They do not trust this government to care for them, and they are absolutely right to think so.

To openly address their concerns, we can demonstrate a better system, and enlist their help. We should do so quickly. Our archaic constitutional machinery has already offered one opening for armed insurrection. The Jan. 6 coup organizers worked with multiple states to credential alternate slates of electors and exploit the Electoral College.

Despite Jefferson's pleas, our Constitution did not include a sunset clause requiring an update every 19 years. The nation now approaches a quarter-millenium under a constitution that has no provision to terminate itself. The new conservative Supreme Court justices are relatively young, and we face 30 years of originalist interpretations that will reinforce the white supremacist bias of the constitution, rather than face the trauma of climate change.

To paraphrase Albert Einstein, the 1787 Constitution is not capable of addressing the racism that is enshrined in the 1787 Constitution itself.

To address the safety and security of our citizens, the next constitution must extend its most remarkable innovation, its enumeration of rights. Its government "of the people, by the people, and for the people," must be extended to "all other persons" and beyond, to include all life in watershed and ocean, and the processes of nature that sustain life.

Consider a 300-year view. The colonies were handed a working model of the federal system, but their white supremacist bias would not allow them to adopt it, even though it was widely viewed as superior. Benjamin Franklin wrote on March 20, 1751:

"It would be a very strange Thing, if six Nations of ignorant Savages should be capable of forming a Scheme for such an Union, and be able to execute it in such a Manner, as that it has subsisted Ages, and appears indissoluble; and yet that a like Union should be impracticable for ten or a Dozen English Colonies, to whom it is more necessary, and must be more advantageous; and who cannot be supposed to want an equal Understanding of their Interests."

The "indissoluble union" that Benjamin Franklin said has "subsisted for ages" was the Haudanosaunee (hoe-dee-no-SHOW-nee ). It demonstrated a working tripartite framework and in some areas still offers more rights than Americans enjoy today. In a 300-year view, the U.S. constitution takes us halfway from the English monarchy towards the proven Native American federal plan. Our challenge is to shed the white supremacist views that prevented the colonials from adopting this innovative system.