Same Skies is the citizen-led regional democracy network and think tank for West Yorkshire.
We encourage and facilitate the active participation of all residents in West Yorkshire's regional democracy, no matter where they or their families were born.
We understand that engaging those who are most marginalised by national power means taking active steps towards those people, not just expecting them to come to us or to trust us.
Our regional democracy must learn from, and make the most of, the skills, knowledge and experiences of the people who live and work here.
We challenge anyone who seeks power in West Yorkshire to do so and we will hold them to account if they don't.
At the same time, we challenge the legitimacy of national power in every way that it affects us. That includes the media, big business (especially finance), culture, charities, political parties and other national organisations as much as it does the Westminster government and Whitehall civil service.
We propose radical subsidiarity: that every decision about our lives that can be made in West Yorkshire is made in West Yorkshire, and as far as possible in neighbourhood and local democracy.
We recognise that there will be areas of policy and co-ordination that are best done at a wider geographical scale, but no decisions that are best made outside West Yorkshire should be made without our prior consent and appropriate participation.
We are a think tank that is about, and in the service of, a place and the people who live and work here. We care about the whole region, its towns, villages, suburbs and natural environment as well as its city centres.
We are interested in everything that happens here, and the interconnections between different aspects of our society, economy, cultures, politics and environment.
We work to create new ideas and ways of doing things by bringing people with different kinds of knowledge together for our common good.
We hope to work in confederated, peer-to-peer relationships with other regional democracy organisations in different parts of the country. Please do drop us a line, we look forward to learning from what you are doing and sharing our experience so far.
Same Skies started as a network of citizens in 2015, and our organisational structure is still that as much as anything else.
If you'd like to get involved, either in our think tank activities, or the network, you will be very welcome. Please do drop us a line.
This page will continue to change as we talk and work with new people and reflect on our approach based on what we learn. You can see the previous version of the page on google docs. We always welcome comments and contributions.
How can we link ideas for positive change in the region to formal structures, processes and policies in order to influence what actually gets done …
This is a summary of the main points from our second "How do we create decent homes and liveable places for all in West Yorkshire …