Cynthia Canary

Cynthia Canary is executive director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, a group that is a founding member of the Midwest Democracy Network. She also serves on the network's steering committee.

Recent Articles

Better Together

The Midwest Democracy Network put comprehensive democracy reform into practice.

It's been said time and again that "all politics is local." Truth be told, most people think of politics in national terms -- this year more than ever. But the greatest potential for rethinking American democracy may lie in working at the regional level. A largely under-the-radar experiment underway in a politically important five-state area of the country could change that. We formed the Midwest Democracy Network in late 2006 to knit together state-based reform organizations, academic institutions, and national research and policy organizations to address the condition of democracy in five Great Lakes states -- Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Groups are working together across state lines to pool resources, learn from each other's failures, share solutions and build a grass-roots reform movement that is big enough to matter. Through collaboration, the Midwest Democracy Network has already established a far bigger presence on the public-policy stage than any single...