The Caring Citizens' Congress


Our Declaration

I am a caring citizen.

I occupy compassion.

I here highly resolve that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

I am a person with human rights.

I care for my own Safety and Happiness and that of others.

I am the solution to expanding life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

And for the support of this declaration, joining caring citizens known and unknown, we mutually pledge to one another our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor

Our Values

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.

Our Purpose - To Build Trust for Effective Governance

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:

  1. To promote the compassionate discourse among citizens of the United States who believe empathy and responsibility to self and others belong in public government through the creation of a federation of neighborhood communities of practice called Caring Citizens’ Congresses;
  2. To support the research, development, promotion, inward digestion, and distribution of information from the field of cognitive science and linguistics advanced by Dr. George Lakoff and colleagues that demonstrate the benefits of and need for the application of the American core values of empathy and responsibility to self and others in effective public government;
  3. To encourage the development of caring public policy directions that promote a measurable empathy surplus and encourage the citizens of the United States to protect and empower each other; and
  4. To engage in any lawful act or activity and to do all things necessary, convenient, or expedient to further the general purpose of the corporation either alone or in association with other corporations, firms, associations or individuals.

Your Neighborhood Think-And-Do Tank

Members of the Empathy Surplus Project are Caring Citizens' Congresses.

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. 

Caring Policy Directions

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.

Membership in Your Caring Citizens' Congress

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.

Our Four Empathic Activities

We are a 501(c)4 organization focused on building an empathy surplus in our world through respect for and protection and promotion of human rights and human well-being. We are a neighborhood think-and-do media group, modeled after Rotary, committed to building trust for effective governance in our personal spheres of influence with Four Empathic Activities: 

  • We will inwardly digest and use the values of empathy and responsibility for self and others in daily conversation “in order to form a more perfect Union.”
  • We will invest in our peaceable public assemblies and weekly pledge “our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor” to strengthen compassion occupation and identify caring policy directions.
  • We will invite our neighbors and public officials to join us for the sake of freedom and human dignity now and forever.

Sample Agenda of Weekly Congress in Its 1.5 Hour Session

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.

  • Gather in convening venue (usually a public place with wi-fi). There are currently three. Weekly peaceably assemblies fulfill the "Investment" component of the 4-Occupy Compassion Exercises.
  • Join Google Hangout that connects participating venues.
  • 1st 30 minutes spent in fellowship and a meal.
  • 2nd 30 minutes focuses on the "Inward Digestion" component of the 4-Occupy Compassion Exercises. It begins with the Caring Citizen Declaration; and continues with discussion of this week's reading or video presentation by Dr. Lakoff or colleagues. The subject matter is always on framing the local debate around our values of empathy and responsibility for self and others. Once a quarter a live program could be substituted for the presentation with discussion as usual.
  • 3rd 30 minutes is spent focused on our individual and local efforts at the "implementing" and "inviting" components of the 4-Occupy Compassion Exercises. It ends with adjournment and the recitation of our 4-Occupy Compassion Exercises.

Congressional Ambassador to Council of Compassion

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.



Contact a Member for more information

Clinton County, OH

New Vienna, OH

  • Gary Evans, adjunct - gary.evans@empathysurplus.com - 937-481-1134

Wilmington, OH

  • Angie Calendine, adjunct - acalendine@cinci.rr.com - 937-725-9482
  • Kathryn Palmer, delegate - kathryn@cinci.rr.com - 937-302-6836
  • Karen Reed, adjunct - karensr47@gmail.com - 937-776-1983
  • Miriam Speaight, delegate - mrspeaight221@yahoo.com - 937-302-6343
  • Chuck Watts, delegate - chuck.watts@empathysurplus.com - 937-725-4317

Green County, OH

Beavercreek, OH

  • Stan Musick, adjunct - stan39@outlook.com - 937-232-5775

Bellbrook, OH

  • Anita Lewis, delegate - anita.lewis@empathysurplus.com - 937-902-0964

Montgomery County, OH

Centerville, OH

  • Nancy Evans, adjunct - nancekate@gmail.com - 937-654-6884

Warren County, OH

Clarksville, OH

  • Samantha Fox, adjunct - swhisenhunt@live.com - 513-405-9336
For information email info@empathysurplus.com


Subpages (1): Fellowship Program