Daniel Kemmis, a senior fellow at the Northern Lights Research and Education Institute, has served in the Montana House of Representatives and as mayor of Missoula, Montana. Kemmis believes that present-day issues such as voter participation, wilderness and farm policy, and economic development strategies all cry out for individuals to work together to renew civic culture.

In the early days of the Republic, individuals were constantly engaged in the task of identifying and acting upon the common good. He suggests that place is the best starting point for renewal of communities: people who share a love for the spot where they live and work can be animated to fashion a creative, participatory approach to problems affecting them all.