, we’ve drawn on the values of slow food as an inspiration for community decision making. Our book is a collaboration of two authors who have, in different but complementary ways, been working to keep com-munity interests alive in government. Here are our stories.
Appropriately enough, the idea for this book began in the garden. Mind you, if gardening were only about producing food, I would have thrown in the trowel long ago; if I got paid minimum wage for all of the inept hours I spend in the garden, my zucchinis would cost twenty-ﬁve bucks each. Still, I am out there with my hands in the dirt every chance I get. As a person who deals with community conﬂicts and political decision making on a regular basis, I ﬁnd there is no better place to relax than in the sunshine with a good audiobook playing in my earbuds. I was thinning carrots one weekend while listening to Michael Pollan’s
The Omnivore’s Dilemma
when it hit me: the work I had been doing in community development was perfectly aligned with the efforts of the Slow Food move-ment. The metaphor was inspiring, and it brought a wave of fresh, exciting ideas to mind. Slow Democracy!I ran inside and tested the idea out on my husband. He seemed impressed at ﬁrst, saying enthusiastically, “Slow Democracy? Great idea! Hey, I bet you could even get the domain name—SlowDemocracy.org!”Then I noticed the twinkle in his eye as he added, in deadpan, “While you’re at it, why not see if you can get PainfulDentistry.org too?”Okay, he had a point. Who wants their democracy to be slow?Still, despite my husband’s teasing (believe me, I’m used to it), I remained convinced that “slow democracy” was a concept that should be part of the public conversation. And I even found a co-conspirator. I don’t recall where Woden and I ﬁrst crossed paths. I’d like to say it was when I was teaching at Woodbury College in Montpelier, Vermont, where she was a department head, and we had an insightful exchange on some key policy issue. However, it’s probably more likely we met at the local