The idea of citizens participating in the processes of government is by no means a recent development in American history. Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States, expressed the belief that citizens should participate in the political processes of government, particularly in the decisions that would affect them. This concept of Jeffersonian democracy, now two centuries old, continues to be very much alive today.
For the past 30 years, we have seen the U.S. Congress enact laws that require citizen participation in policy-making decisions. Federal grant programs have mandated citizen participation, either by law or by regulations implementing the grants. We have witnessed an expansion of citizen participation far beyond anything dreamed of by the founding fathers.
Citizen Participation in Action
The National Society's program of financial assistance to affiliated state organizations that monitor their state boards of accountancy is, in a very real sense, a means of citizen participation in the processes of government. Now entering its tenth year, the monitoring program has enhanced the visibility …