On a Rocky Hill in Athens, a ‘Democratic Odyssey’ Begins

Could a European People’s Assembly—Politician-Free and Chosen by Lottery—Become a Permanent Branch of Government?

Democracy was first built on a lot of loose rock.

Can democracy now be rebuilt on that very same ground?

Recently, I spent a long afternoon on a dusty and rocky Athens hill called the Pnyx for the first meeting of a novel assembly inspired by the past.

It was the most audacious and beautiful democratic event I’ve ever witnessed.

The Pnyx rises just west of the Acropolis. There, the ancient Athenian Ecclesia, consisting of local citizens mostly chosen by lot, gathered more than 100 generations ago to make all important government decisions. No …

Civic Advocate Rafael de la Rosa

I Love Disco

Rafael de la Rosa is the director of advocacy at the Hospital Association of Southern California. He was previously the assistant vice president for government and community relations at California …

KCRW’s Janaya Williams

All Things Considered’s Janaya Williams

Janaya Williams is the host of KCRW’s All Things Considered. Before moderating the panel for the Zócalo program “What Do We Want From the Next L.A. Mayor?” in May 2022, she joined …

Green Qween Co-Founder and CEO Taylor Bazley

RuPaul Asked Us, ‘What in the Gay World Is Going on Here?!’

Taylor Bazley is the co-founder and CEO of Green Kween. In the past, Bazley has worked for the L.A. City Council as well as been involved with LGBT organizations such …

USC Political Scientist Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro

‘I'm Watching the Sunrise / I'm Glad to Be Living’

Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro is a professor in political science and gender and sexuality studies at the University of Southern California. Before sitting on the panel for the Zócalo program “What …

A man in a mask and sunglasses cast a vote into a box. In the background, poll workers wearing masks sit at a blue table.

You Can Find a Lot of Hope in Mexico’s Democracy

The Headlines Are Dire, But the Country’s Citizen-Run Elections Should Remain Trustworthy—And a Model for the Rest of the World

In these times of misinformation and mistrust, where might we find a way to restore trust in our elections and in our democracies?

There are two answers: in Mexico. And in …