A Functional Democracy
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A Beginner's Guide To Local Government

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A Functional Democracy

Local government is important. It affects us all. Whether we’re talking about the air we breathe, the water we drink, the energy we use, or the parks we play in, local government matters. 

And yet, most of us don't know how to get involved. Voter turnout for local elections in 10 of America's 30 largest cities is consistently less than 15 percent. 

That's where A Functional Democracy comes in. With our "Beginner's Guide To Local Government" coloring book, workshops, happy hours, and lecture series, we make it as easy as possible for you to get involved. 

So think of this as your formal invitation. Even if you've never voted in a local election before, we're here for you. We'll walk you through the basics so you can get inspired, get connected, and make a difference... right in your own backyard. 

"We have what amounts to three branches in our city government: elected officials, city employees, and people just like you who are willing to serve on boards and commissions. If you read this book, you'll be more than qualified to serve your city, and we need your help."

— Austin Mayor Steve Adler

Beyond the book

Want to take your civics education to the next level? Want to bring A Functional Democracy and our "Beginner's Guide To Local Government" directly to your school, university, social club, office, or craft fair? 

We can do that. 

A Functional Democracy offers discounted prices for bulk book purchases, as well as a lecture and workshop series for a more personalized and comprehensive civic education experience. Perfect for universities or businesses!

Contact us for more information. Just send an email to info@afunctionaldemocracy.com.


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How It All Began

In early 2015, A Functional Democracy cofounder Amy Stansbury was frustrated. She was working as a local news reporter in Austin, Texas and was tired of showing up to empty City Council meetings. She was witnessing firsthand what happens when people don't get involved in their local democracy - extremists win and everyone suffers.

And then an idea popped into her head - why not teach people how to get involved? 

That's when she started putting together online resources and hosting community happy hours - all with the goal of helping Austinites figure out who represents them at City Hall and how to advocate for the issues that really matter to them. 

But something was missing. Amy wanted a way to make civics more fun and accessible. She dreamed of a day when all Austinites voted in local elections and showed up to important City Council meetings. 

And that's when she met Hal and Jordan, two amazing local designers and artists passionate about civic duty and making information more accessible. 

And bam! Just like that, a partnership was born.