updated 10/20/2004 7:22:27 AM ET 2004-10-20T11:22:27

As part of our Democracy Plaza project, invites our readers to submit short essays on democracy in America, as inspired by our 'Democracy in America' slide show. Each week beginning on Monday, October 25, editors will select one or several essays to publish in our special Democracy Plaza section. We'll continue publishing essays until the week of November 29. Entries are limited to 300 words — or about twice as long as this paragraph.

Be aware that for materials you post or otherwise provide to MSNBC (a "Submission"), you grant MSNBC permission to (1) use, copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, modify, translate and reformat your Submission, each in connection with the MSNBC Web Site, and (2) sublicense these rights, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law. MSNBC will not pay you for your Submission. MSNBC may remove your Submission at any time. For each Submission, you represent that you have all rights necessary for you to make the grants in this section. MSNBC Terms of Use also apply.

Submit your essay in the text box below, and don't forget to tell us where you live and how to reach you if you win. Good luck!

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