California Citizens Initiative Review® Demonstration
For the first time in California state history, the Citizens Initiative Review Demonstration brought together eligible California voters for a deliberative process to demonstrate how citizen participation can make the California initiative system more transparent, more understandable, and more independent of campaign spending.
Demonstration Review of Proposition 61,
Drug Price Standards (2016)
March 5-7, 2017
Villa Graziadio Executive Dining Center
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
The Citizens Initiative Review® (CIR) Demonstration Project brings Californians together to provide clear, useful, trustworthy evaluations of ballot measures. A panel of 18 voters from California universities heard directly from a ballot measure's supporters and opponents as well as independent experts. During the process, panelists deliberated on what they had learned in order to fairly evaluate the measure. At the conclusion of the Review, the panel presented its findings in a Citizens' Statement (see above).
The Citizens Initiative Review® has been implemented around the country in states such as Oregon, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Arizona. But since California makes more use of the initiative system than any other state, the Citizens Initiative Review® is a natural fit for election reform here. The Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership, the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, and Healthy Democracy have partnered to bring the Citizens Initiative Review® to California to demonstrate its potential in California and tell the powerful story of the CIR to California voters.
On March 5 - 7, 2017 the Davenport Institute and Healthy Democracy convened a demonstration of the Citizens Initiative Review® at Pepperdine University in Malibu. For the purposes of this demonstration project, the citizen panel was comprised of a group of students from undergrad and graduate schools from across California, balanced to be diverse in terms of political perspectives, gender, and ethnicity. They deliberated on one of the more complex measures from the November 2016 statewide ballot, Proposition 61: Drug Price Standards.
Over the course of three days, the panel examined ballot materials, considered the arguments of advocates for and against Prop 61, heard from issue experts, and deliberated in small groups. At the conclusion of the in-depth review, the panel drafted a Citizens' Statement outlining the most important key facts about the ballot measure and identifying the strongest arguments for and against the measure.
In states that have implemented the full CIR process, this statement is included with ballot information to provide an overview that does not take a position on the measure, but that offers a multi-partisan perspective on the meaning of an initiative as well as a consensus about which arguments for and against the measure are most valid and compelling.
How is this different from a regular Citizens Initiative Review?
Every Citizens Initiative Review® has been evaluated by independent university researchers. We’re glad to continue our record of rigorous evaluation with the California CIR Demonstration Project. Chris Celaya, PhD candidate in the Harvard University Department of Government, led the in-room evaluations of panelists. Outside the deliberations, Public Agenda has joined the project to conduct research on social media impacts and long-term participant experiences.
PhD Candidate, Harvard University, Government Department
Learning & Impact Evaluation Fellow, Public Engagement Unit, Public Agenda
Vice President for Public Engagement, Public Agenda
Dean of Pepperdine School of Public Policy
Executive Director of the Davenport Institute,
#CaliCIR Project Manager
Mediator and Facilitator, #CaliCIR Lead Moderator
Principal at Portillo Consulting International,
#CaliCIR Lead Moderator
#CaliCIR Assistant Moderator
#CaliCIR Assistant Moderator
Administrative Assistant at Pepperdine School of Public Policy,
#CaliCIR Logistics Manager
Graduate Assistant at Pepperdine School of Public Policy
Program Director at Healthy Democracy,
#CaliCIR Process Quality Monitor
Operations and Technology Manager at Healthy Democracy,
#CaliCIR Information Coordinator
Executive Director at Healthy Democracy