You can make a profound difference on global poverty and climate change. In Reclaiming Our Democracy, Sam Daley-Harris explains how.

Most people see working to end global poverty and ensure a stable climate as a fool’s errand. Add to that the Citizens United decision and the flood of money rushing into politics and the despair grows deeper.

But activist and author Sam Daley-Harris has helped thousands of ordinary citizens transform their hopelessness into extraordinarily powerful action. In his May 29, 2013 Fixes column in the New York Times David Bornstein wrote the following about Daley-Harris’ work:

“We don’t often hear stories like this—stories about ordinary citizens working powerfully side by side with elected officials—particularly citizens who don’t come bearing campaign checks. That’s why it’s important to understand how these changes were achieved and how much more may be possible than most citizens imagine.”


In the 20th anniversary edition of Reclaiming Our Democracy, Healing the Break Between People and Government released in September 2013, Daley-Harris shares how he and the citizen advocacy organizations he has founded or coached have catalyzed the energy of thousands of volunteers to score significant legislative and policy wins. Among them:

  • In 1986 RESULTS volunteers generated 90 editorials and played a pivotal role in tripling the U.S. Government’s investment in the child survival fund from $25 million to $75 million. With continued work funding for child survival and maternal health has grown to $600 million annually and UNICEF estimates that 25 million lives have been saved.
  • Working with key leaders in Congress RESULTS has led successful efforts to increase funding to fight Tuberculosis from $1 million a year in the late 1990s to a cumulative $1.8 billion today.
  • Starting in 1986 Daley-Harris organized Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mohammad Yunus’ introduction to the U.S. media, resulting in a four-part series in the Christian Science Monitor, which in turn led to a 60 Minutes story on Grameen Bank in 1990 – the first national U.S. television program on the microlending initiative.
  • By October 2017, Citizens Climate Lobby (which Daley-Harris coached its first seven years) had played the leading role in enrolling 30 Republicans and 30 Democrats in joining the House Climate Solutions Caucus.
  • In 2012 Daley-Harris founded The Center for Citizen Empowerment and Transformation, now named Civic Courage to spread this work and help non-governmental organizations find and train a small number of their members to create champions in Congress and the media for their cause.

At a time when so many feel hopeless about making a difference in the world, Reclaiming Our Democracy brings a vision and strategy for moving beyond point and click advocacy to creating champions in Congress and the media for powerful social change. “….This book is about more than reclaiming our democracy,” says Share Our Strength founder and CEO Bill Shore, “it is about reclaiming the soul of citizenship.”

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