The Rotary Club of Lebanon-Riverside co-sponsored a highly attended book talk by Jared Duval at the Kilton Library community room on December 1. Jared's book, Next Generation Democracy, proposes an "open source" approach to governmental decision making.
 Sixty people filled the new community room at the Kilton Library in West Lebanon to capacity on Wednesday evening, December 1, to hear Jared Duval speak about the his book Next Generation Democracy. The audience included a wide variety of concerned citizens, ranging from members of a Lebanon High School environmental studies class to a group of senior citizens transported to the talk by a community van. The book-signing event was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Lebanon-Riverside, the Upper Valley Land Trust, and the Upper Valley Sierra Club. In his presentation Jared outlined his perspective on what has led our government into the present state of deadlock and gave examples of local community activism that has led to governmental action in communities such as New Haven, Connecticut.

A lively question-and-answer period followed Jared’s talk, with a number of audience members expressing deep frustration with the failure of the national government to act on citizen concerns, particularly involving the environment. Representatives from each of the sponsoring organizations also gave brief updates on their group’s purpose and the projects they are presently engaged in. Members of the Lebanon-Riverside Rotary Club set up several tables of refreshments, ranging from fresh-baked cookies and cranberry bread to local cider. The Norwich Bookstore had someone on hand to sell copies of Jared’s book, and a long line of attendees formed to have Jared sign one or more copies of the book and to personally greet him. The Upper Valley Land Trust also staffed a table with information about the land trust and with environmentally themed T-shirts, caps, etc., for purchase.

Jared Duval is a native of the Upper Valley and a Lebanon High school graduate. In 2000–2001 he helped lead a successful effort to save the Great Hollow Wetlands from a major construction project. (See a report of his activities posted from that time on the Web at http://www.wildnesswithin.com/win/duval.html.) Jared went on to serve as the youngest member of Howard Dean's policy team during the 2004 presidential election. From 2005–2007 Jared served as the national director of the Sierra Student Coalition, the national student chapter of the Sierra Club and the largest student environmental organization in America. Jared currently serves on the national board of directors for the Sierra Club and is also a trustee of the Orton Family Foundation. A recipient of the Morris K. Udall and Harry S. Truman scholarships, he graduated Summa Cum Laude from Wheaton College in Massachusetts in 2005.