What is Healthy Democracy?


Healthy Democracy is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to elevating the public’s voice in our democracy. We work to advance innovative and powerful ways for the public to engage in the democratic process and improve our political discourse.

We don’t work for one side or another on the ‘issues of the day’. We do work on in-depth and fair deliberations, both in-person and online, in order to build meaningful new ways for the public to weigh in on the important issues facing us all.


Healthy Democracy grew out of the successful work of our sister organization, Healthy Democracy Oregon, to promote an innovative reform of the ballot initiative process. This reform, called the Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR), presents voters with clear, useful, and trustworthy evaluations of statewide ballot measures. Since 2009, Healthy Democracy has led efforts to develop and refine the Citizens’ Initiative Review process for use by Oregon voters.

In 2011, the Oregon Legislature approved House Bill 2634, legislation making the Citizens’ Initiative Review a permanent part of Oregon elections. This marked the first time a legislature has made voter deliberation a formalized part of the election process. The CIR is a benchmark in the initiative reform and public engagement fields.

Healthy Democracy was selected by the newly formed Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review Commission to run two Reviews during the 2012 election cycle — the first official state CIRs.

Programs and Projects

Healthy Democracy ran the Citizens’ Initiative Review process in 2012 on behalf of the Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review Commission. We also serve as a resource for organizations and individuals wanting to develop the CIR in their own states.

This year, we are piloting a local CIR in Jackson County to test the process on the local level.

Support for our Work

Healthy Democracy’s work is made possible by hundreds of individuals and families, alongside grant support from the following foundations: