Here's a pile of awesome to start the day: GROW South Dakota and Dakotafire Media have received a Bush Foundation grant to promote constructive conversations among rural economic development experts and community members around northeastern South Dakota.
GROW South Dakota will use the $200,000 Community Innovation Grant to create the Prairie Idea Exchange. The money will help Dakotafire expand its weekly circulation from 12,000 to 30,000. GROW SD and Dakotafire will organize community forums to "discuss the ideas presented in the magazine, add their own ideas, and determine which of those ideas could be applied to their own communities." They offer an online branch of those conversations as well, for those of us who don't get out as much as we ought.
The Prairie Idea Exchange isn't politics as usual, but it is inherently and healthily political. The project represents what we should think of as politics: citizens coming together to discuss, formulate, and act on ideas for living together in community (the polis, as the Greeks who gave us the word politics would have called it).
Don't just wish this healthy political project well; be a politician (one who seeks to build and maintain the polis) and participate in it!