About EDA

WHAT IS EDA

Economic Democracy Advocates (EDA) aims to be a leading organization in research, education and grassroots advocacy for governmental legislation to meet basic human needs on a sustainable basis.

Education, research and advocacy

EDA is a grassroots organization that advocates for specific legislation through our elected officials to manage the Commons. We are here to help citizens get involved in determining how common resources are managed so that the needs of current and future generations can be met.

This involves directly connecting with legislators at different levels of government to support and advise on issues related to the sustainable management of critical resources.

We are aware that rapid resource depletion and environmental degradation currently threatens an already unstable socioeconomic system. We can change that by:

  • educating ourselves on the issues
  • creating a database of the current status of necessary resources
  • working together to devise action strategies, including lobbying our elected representatives at all levels of government.
  • This new system would operate democratically through a network of Commons cooperatives based on ecodistricts – ecologically coherent areas that share a unique biosystem.

    Here’s why this is important

    Today, we are bearing witness to events that will shape life on Earth for centuries to come. For the first time in history, human population is growing more rapidly than the capacity of Nature to provide healthy food, clean water, breathable air and renewable energy to meet everyone’s needs.

    At present, Earth’s population exceeds its biocapacity by 60% per year. Studies from many sectors indicate that by 2050, the human race must double global food output with half the present fresh water, far less arable land, declining fossil fuels, rare and very costly fertilizers, lack of new yield-raising technologies and increasing drought, heat and floods.1

    This planet’s resources, which are vital for human well-being and livelihood, are shared neither equitably nor sustainably. It is a fact of modern life that our basic human resources no longer belong to everyone; while in earlier days of human habitation these essentials were commonly available. Thus, we refer to these resources as our Global Commons.

    In the span of our lifetimes we have experienced a steady monopolization of these commons, with all the social and environmental disparities this has caused. Currently, there is no consensus on how these commons may be restored and provisioned adequately to meet the needs of everyone now and into the future.

    We recognize that everything on Earth thrives according to its carrying capacity — the level of resources that an environment can ‘carry’ to sustain the needs of its population. We affirm that a population of living beings exceeding these limits will become stressed to the point of sickness, destructiveness and death.

    When we consider the problems of climate change, loss of biodiversity, species extinction and social inequality, it’s clear that global civilization is in the process of a rapid breakdown.

    A planetary crisis is now emerging because humanity has neither fulfilled its rights, nor lived up to its responsibilities for governing our Global Commons and ensuring that finite resources are available to all.

    It’s clear to us that the use, management and preservation of these commons require a broad foundation in economic democracy through cooperative self-governance so that all life forms may fulfill their potential to be healthy and generative. Thus, we affirm that our Global Commons must be viewed as fundamental rights and responsibilities for human beings everywhere in the world.

    How can we achieve this?

    Three principles point us inexorably toward democracy both in our political and economic spheres. We believe that only healthy democratic systems ensure participation and opportunity to all. We affirm that broad, participatory democracy is the safest means toward a sustainable future.

    1. Freedom is vital to human beings and the societies they create. Every person must be able to pursue their own self-expression, intentionality and self-determination. Yet this “freedom to” act as one chooses can only be realized when there is “freedom from” gross violations of one’s inalienable rights. This includes protection from the deprivations of human needs brought about through inequitable economic systems and governments.

    2. Equality is the recognition that all people deserve the right to fulfill themselves in life. In order for this to be possible, everyone must share in the responsibility of creating and maintaining their social, economic and political systems, guaranteeing that equality prevails. No person can be marginalized or left out of a system that values equality.

    3. Cooperation is the key to human organization. We are here to work together for the good of the communities and ecologies of which we are a part. Thus, the goal of a cooperative society is for individuals to voluntarily work together for the greater good, collaborating so that all will survive and thrive in unity.

    To this end, we acknowledge a dual responsibility: to engage in the preservation and regeneration of our commons through grassroots economic democracy and to actively support these measures through legislative policy. In essence, we recognize ourselves as activists for economic democracy through political democracy.

    I want to become an economic democracy advocate.

    1 Source: www.footprintnetwork.org/our-work/ecological-footprint