“We the people” and our representatives - not kings, presidents, preachers, CEOs, or generals - are charged with the protection and empowerment of our own and one another's life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We will occupy compassion and care for ourselves, care for our family, care for our work, care for our communities, care for our states, care for our nation, and care for our world.
Empathy, Responsibility and Strength - Empathy and responsibility for self and others, basic human rights, are strengthened when people govern both privately and publicly with these values, caring for one another, leading to freedom and fairness for all.
Protection, Fulfillment and Fairness - When you care for someone, even people you don't know, you want them to be protected, their hopes and dreams fulfilled, and to be treated fairly.
Freedom, Opportunity, and Prosperity - Fulfillment in life comes from being free. Our communities must have sufficient prosperity for its residents to have the opportunities to care for themselves and each other.
Community, Service, Cooperation - Children are shaped by their communities. Shared responsibility requires serving and helping to shape that community. That service above self requires cooperation.
Trust, Honest, and Open Communication - Effective cooperation requires trust. Building trust, or a trust / brand, requires the consistent, honest, and open communication of these core American values in all aspects of our lives.
The Empathy Surplus Project was formed on August 27, 2009 as a nonprofit corporation under the laws of the State of Ohio. We are a 501(c)4 tax-exempt organization. We are modeled after Rotary International. Our purposes are:
A Caring Citizens’ Congress is a neighborhood collaborative think-and-do tank, a small community of diplomatic practice. Like Rotary Clubs are members of Rotary International; the Caring Citizens' Congress is a member of Empathy Surplus Project. These local congressional 1st Amendment gatherings are made up of no more than 12 caring citizens called delegates, registered voters of any political affiliation or no affiliation. These delegates practice 4-Occupy Compassion Exercises to strengthen caring citizenship [see below].
Dr. George Lakoff, author of our consulting materials, identifies two parts to all public policy: material and cognitive. The material policy is about the nuts and bolts of legislation or local ordinances and identifies how things work.
We currently have the requisite number of delegates to charter, i.e. 6, but need three more Republicans to meet our diversity requirement. Our current make-up is one Republican, one unaffiliated, and four Democrats.
Cognitive policy is about what the public has to have in its brain in order to support material policy - the idea. Caring Citizens' Congresses focus on cognitive policy called caring policy directions. Our electoral process focuses on precinct and county parties to spread those ideas at the grassroots.
Caring citizens are the solution. Members of a Caring Citizens' Congress are called delegates or adjuncts. Delegates have voting rights and direct our activity. Their credentials include acknowledging core American values for public governance of empathy and responsibility for self and others. Both require a monthly freedom investment. Delegate status requires a larger commitment found in the 2014 Manual of Procedure.
We are a community of practice. We occupy compassion every day by practicing four critical activities. We will:
The agenda is similar to weekly civic organizations everywhere like Rotary, Kiwanis, or Lions only smaller for the sake of fostering conversations that matter in these communities of practice.
The first ten Congresses will provide one ambassador each to the Council of Compassion, the governing body of the Empathy Surplus Project. Don’t have a neighborhood Congress? Become a new Congress envoy and occupy compassion in your neighborhood.
Clinton County, OH
New Vienna, OH
Green County, OH
Warren County, OH