Grassroots democracy is the political structure that tries to put as much power into the local community instead of national or international heads of power. A democratic grassroots movement would specifically allow all individual participants to make decisions or if the power was representative that would allow those indiviudals to elect decision makers. The term is often co-opted to make national movements seem more local or connectable, even though that is usually not the case.
Grassroots democracy is a tendency towards designing political processes where as much decision-making authority as practical is shifted to the organization’s lowest geographic level of organization: principle of subsidiarity. To cite a specific hypothetical example, a national grassroots organization would place as much decision-making power as possible in the hands of a local chapter instead of the head office.
In practice, it tends to mean that one goes door-to-door like a Jehovah’s witness telling people about a political issue or a good candidate. I did this a few times with Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, and most recently with my local democratic club telling people about our meeting days. We can get votor registration lists online so we know which houses we want to visit and we carry a clipboard, etc.
Otherwise, it could be holding a booth at a local fair or just talking to your friends. For example: you can take canvas grocery bags instead of plastic ones with you and tell the cashier why it is important to keep plastic out of our oceans. If you talk loudly enough, the people behind you in line will hear, too 🙂
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