Due to the holiday, there will be no Behind the Headlines this week. We will air “Groundwork: Democracy Close to Home,” A timely one-hour special, hosted by NPR’s Scott Simon, that tells stories of American democracy at the local level. We listen in as people wrestle with issues alongside — and in opposition to — their neighbors. Episodes in Upstate New York, North Carolina, Texas, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Alaska. Good through the election and beyond.
At a time of political gridlock and polarization at the national level, Groundwork explores the tone and flavor of democratic action in towns and cities, where one’s antagonist is not an opposing talking head or a politician from a state of a different “color,” but a neighbor.
Image by: Melissa Beck
A resident of Chicago’s 49th Ward.
The one-hour special includes these stories:
Energy: The people of Caroline, New York wrestle over the controversial gas drilling method known as fracking. Producer: Jonathan Miller
Civil Rights / Values: The debate over North Carolina’s Marriage Amendment in an African American church in Hickory, NC. Producer: John Biewen. [A version of this story aired on Weekend Edition on May 6. That segment is expanded in this special.]
Immigration: In San Juan, Texas, the debate over how aggressively to police the border. Producer: Maria Martin
Citizen control of government spending: The “participatory budgeting” experiment in Chicago’s 49th Ward. Producer: John Biewen [This story aired on Weekend Edition Saturday on May 26.]
Young people and democracy: A look at how young people are engaging in politics and social action four years after the Obama Wave. Producer: Karen Michel in Los Angeles.
Environment: Fishermen in Kodiak, Alaska, their livelihoods threatened by ocean acidification, take steps to make their voices heard on carbon emissions. Producer: John Biewen
This special will air Friday July 4th at 9 AM and Sunday July 6th at 8 AM.