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Recent Blog Posts

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A Case for Citizens’ Initiative Reviews of Criminal Justice Ballot Measures

HD's summer 2017 Nevins Fellow, Andy Puthenpurayil, argues that one often-distorted category of ballot measures – those dealing with 'three strikes' laws and other criminal justice matters – could particularly benefit from the clarity of a CIR-style review.

Linn, Robin, Jake (on a cake), Jessie, and Amanda

The Human Heart is the First Home of Democracy*: A Farewell for Now

Program Director Jessie Conover writes a few goodbyes on her leaving Healthy Democracy and the world deliberative democracy.

To Have Without Holding: A Farewell Message

Robin Teater writes a goodbye to our beloved program director, Jessie Conover.

An Appeal to Democratic Reformers: Welcome Uncomfortable Speech, Political Pluralism, and Real Disagreement

In a talk at the Frontiers of Democracy conference in Boston, Ashley Trim calls for greater political inclusiveness within universities and the deliberative democracy community.

What Does a Healthy Democracy Look Like?

HD in the Press

Massachusetts: State lawmakers working to make ballot questions more clear to voters

From WWLP 22 News: BOSTON (WWLP) – State lawmakers are working to make voting easier on election day. Ballot questions can be confusing, sometimes making it unclear what your ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote actually means. State lawmakers have a proposal that could change where your information comes from. More than 50 state lawmakers support a bill
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Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review Named Top 10 Program by Harvard’s Ash Awards

For the second time, the Oregon Citizens' Initiative Review has been named a Top 10 Innovations in American Government recipient by Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

A Manageable Improvement to the State Initiative Process?

From Fox & Hounds: Californians have a love-hate relationship with the Initiative process. Recent surveys by PPIC show that two-thirds of voters are satisfied with the initiative process even though a majority think that special interests have too much control and an even larger majority think the wording of initiatives is “often too complicated and
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Citizens’ statement on Massachusetts marijuana ballot question was effective, but little known

From MassLive: Massachusetts voters who read an independently produced statement about the marijuana legalization ballot question felt better informed about the issue and more confident in their knowledge. But it is likely that few residents were even aware of the so-called “Citizens’ Statement.” Organizers of the Citizens Initiative Review pilot project, which produced the statement,
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