Working to elevate citizen voices and improve public discourse.

In states. In communities. In schools.

The Citizens’ Initiative Review

We bring a representative random sample of voters together to study ballot measures.

These everyday citizens hear testimony from both sides and from independent experts. And then draft high-quality information for their fellow voters.

Voter Info. By Voters, For Voters.

In 2018, Healthy Democracy conducted three CIRs. Learn more about them below.

2018 Portland-Area CIR

2018 Massachusetts CIR

2018 California CIR

"Many of us consider [the Citizens' Initiative Review] to be our most meaningful experience in politics. And for those of us who have struggled to keep faith in the political system, it helped to restore it."

—Joint Statement by 2016 Massachusetts Citizen Panelists

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Recent Blog Posts

Politicians & Public Participation — Tackling a Quintessential Design Problem

For a few weeks in September, we had the pleasure of hosting a visiting undergraduate student, Jillian Gilburne, who is a senior at Northwestern University studying political science, communication studies, and human-centered design. In an effort to better understand what motivates local officials to take on the challenge of achieving equitable, representative public engagement, Jillian
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A Reflection on Month Two in the U.S.

Farres Alkhaiyer joined Healthy Democracy in August as a fellow with the 2019-2020 Community Solutions Program, a prestigious fellowship program run by the DC-based nonprofit IREX. This program brings together 80 of the brightest community leaders from around the world for four months of intensive leadership development in the United States. As he enters his second month
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Learning. Livability. Leaning in.

On September 21 at Concordia University, Healthy Democracy hosted the 3rd, and final, component of the 2019 Community Oregon program, the Community Oregon Expo. Community Oregon is a program of our organization designed in response to the need to increase understanding and communication among diverse segments of Oregon’s electorate. The final phase of the program
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Civic Saturday reflections . . . It’s magic y’all

On Saturday, September 14, at the C Bar C Ranch in Powell Butte, Oregon, Citizen University, Healthy Democracy, Oregon Humanities, and the Deliberative Democracy Consortium partnered to host Civic Saturday, a morning filled with civic reflection, connections, and inspiration. Wendy Willis, a Civic Seminarian through the Citizen University and the Executive Director of the Deliberative Democracy
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What Does a Healthy Democracy Look Like?

HD in the Press

Swiss town tests citizen panel to help voters analyse information

From The municipality of Sion in southwestern Switzerland is planning a participative democracy experiment, first tried out in the US state of Oregon, that places randomly selected locals on a citizen panel in the lead up to national referendums. Various inhabitants of the canton Valais municipality will be asked to form a citizen panel that
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New report: Doing Democracy Better

From The Constitution Unit at University College London: The report, Doing Democracy Better: How Can Information and Discourse in Election and Referendum Campaigns in the UK Be Improved?, is a response to widespread dissatisfaction with the quality of political discourse and the information available to voters during recent election and referendum campaigns. The authors, Alan Renwick
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A deliberate fix for democracy

From Knowable Magazine: As hard as it may be to believe — especially in times of government shutdowns and partisan paralysis — people of different backgrounds and beliefs really can get together to discuss tricky issues and reach a consensus. Productive political discourse isn’t just a utopian fantasy. Recent history has shown that rigorous, thoughtful debate
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Citizens’ Juries – providing a neutral recommendation on voting issues

From In Switzerland, issues up for vote are typically complex and the interests of different parties are often difficult to decipher. One solution could be the use of a citizens’ jury whereby a few citizens are selected at random to provide a balanced assessment of voting issues for the many. The random selection of
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Help us build a healthier democracy!