Citizens are randomly selected to represent society and discuss relevant issues to reduce alienation from politics and increase active participation in local democracy.
A CONSTRUCTIVE LOCAL DEBATE CULTURE
The aim of the Frankfurt Democracy Convention is to make political participation tangible with a focus on mutual exchange. The purpose is to create a constructive local debate culture and reduce the feeling of alienation from the political system. Democracy is to be understood again as practice – a creative process of active co-shaping through the consultation of many different people.
CITIZEN PARTICIPATION FOR CONCRETE RECOMMENDATIONS
In February 2019, fifty randomly selected Frankfurt citizens met for three days to discuss how citizen participation could be improved in Frankfurt. Many different perspectives and ideas came together, resulting in concrete recommendations for action. The recommendations developed by the participants were presented to the Frankfurt City Council in the form of six concrete projects for implementation. The participants also demanded structural changes within the city politics. The Democracy Convention will now take place annually and will thus contribute to sustained citizen participation in Frankfurt.
RANDOM SELECTION TO REPRESENT SOCIETY
The first Democracy Convention showed that it is possible to actively involve people in local political decision-making. Citizens advise politicians and are central to the democratic process. Men and women from all districts of Frankfurt were invited in equal numbers, and one-third of the 50 participants in the Democracy Convention were selected from groups of underrepresented citizens, such as young, low-income, migrant, and homeless people. This type of selection is intended to bring people with different perspectives together, in contrast to other political events where participants are personally invited.