This handbook on group decision-making for those wanting to operate in a consensus fashion stresses the advantages of informal, common sense approaches to working together. It describes how any group can put these approaches into practice, and relates numerous examples of situations in which such approaches have been applied.

The Chelsea Charter Consensus Process
The chelsea charter consensus process
Susan L.Podziba

Democracy requires that citizens participate in their governance. A strong democracy effectively engages its citizens. Conversely, a weakened democracy denies access to its members and is operated by a small number of individuals. This is a story of a democracy that went astray, and an attempt to set it back on track. It is a chapter in the history of Chelsea, Massachusetts, a city of 28,000 residents located just north of Boston on a land mass, only 1.8 square miles, divided by a bridge.

In 1990, the city of Chelsea would have met most criteria for a malfunctioning democracy. Two of its past four mayors were incarcerated on federal corruption charges, and a third pleaded guilty ...

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