The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Passed by Congress on September 25, 1789. Ratified December 15, 1791. The first 10 amendments form the Bill of Rights
US Constitution Amendment X
The James Madison Project
Re-Claim the Role of the Citizen
The James Madison Project is an ambitious, multi-year experiment that creates a framework, organizes events and provides tools for reclaiming the citizen’s role in defining and achieving the vision of the founders of the United States. The project’s goal is to explore and invigorate the reasons for our government: “in order to form a more perfect union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”. The project is inspired by the political thinking that is the basis for the “DNA” of our body politic, the US Constitution, and the person who played a central role in the conception and birthing of the United States, James Madison, the “father of the Constitution”. Grounded in the farsighted vision of the founders, the project is informed by the experience of the past 230 years, by a modern understanding of human nature, and enabled by the assets of modern social life including digital technology and social media. The interconnected parts of the Project are used as catalysts to reframe the current political conversation on our way to “Healing” our current dysfunctional political system. We offer a much-needed change to the current political dialogue and reframes the challenges we face by asking the question:
How can we all, including the private sector, nonprofits, government and its institutions, religious institutions, academia and citizens, best achieve effective solutions to our problems, solutions that will work in a complex world of escalating need and diminishing resources?
We envision a process that brings about a “modern” understanding of human nature and the constitution, provides a framework and tools to leverage technology and scientific insights, embrace crowdsourcing and other collaborative activities to address challenges in our society. The success of the project is measured by achieving predefined goals inspired by the convictions of our founders as articulated in the Preamble to the US Constitution in 1787:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Most importantly, we appreciate the blessings bestowed on us as individuals through the formation of the first government established by consent of the governed. This entails a responsibility to protect the constitutional concepts and democracy for future generations.
The Citizenism Initiative, a central pillar of The James Madison Project, is guided by the belief that when it comes to our democracy, We the People can and must do better. Citizenism is the recognition and exploration of the role of the citizen within the political ecosystem. Citizenism responds to a troubling array of problems and challenges as well as opportunities facing our nation’s political system. By focusing on the vision that animated our founders and that has energized Americans to achieve greatness, the initiative studies the nature of the citizen rights, responsibilities and the influences that make the modern citizen. Additionally, leveraging an understanding of the complexity of the body politic, citizenism provides a framework for engagement with relevant stakeholders. The initiative addresses the many changes that are emerging with change in demographics, technology and other economic, social and political forces.
More specifically The Project has the following goals:
To reframe our political conversation by focusing on how to achieve and maintain a well-functioning democracy, strive for improving the general welfare and contribute to general happiness and the various aspects of human flourishing.
To develop and deploy a framework for deliberative democracy based on a shared democratic values and meaningful knowledge base.
To provide a framework and tools that leverage technology and scientific insights, embrace crowdsourcing in the service of democracy, and pursue other collaborative activities that address challenges in our society and achieve a strong, healthy political system serving free and enlightened citizens.
To provide information for citizens that enhances their ability to make informed choices as they engage in the civic life of their nation and their communities.
To build citizen’s confidence that their voices can be the primary influence shaping the outcomes of policy debates.
To maximize the faith citizens have in their government and its ability to solve important problems despite deep differences of opinion.
To effectively leverage technology and wield other tools to engage with their government in a fair and just way that reflects the purpose of the government as envisioned by the Founders.