HealthyDem-CIR-M90-2014-337_desatgradients2_2500x1500

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 CIR] 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

The 2018 Portland Metro Area CIR is Starting Today! (And Running Aug. 23-26)

The Portland metro area is hosting its first-ever Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR), facilitated by Healthy Democracy, a nonpartisan, nonprofit based in Portland. Up for review: the Metro Region Affordable Housing Bond Measure. A cross-section of voters – who are randomly selected to match the demographics of the metro region in key areas such as political affiliation,
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2018 Portland-Area CIR Details

The Portland metro area is hosting its first-ever Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR), facilitated by Healthy Democracy, a nonpartisan, nonprofit based in Portland. Up for review: the Metro Region Affordable Housing Bond Measure. A cross-section of voters – who are randomly selected to match the demographics of the metro region in key areas such as political affiliation,
+ Read More

2018 Portland-Area CIR Announcement

Got This Letter in Your Mail? You’ve won the democracy lottery! If you received the letter, you have a chance to be part of a Citizens’ Initiative Review. If you reply and are randomly selected, you will: Spend four days reviewing a measure on the November ballot, as part of a 20-person citizen panel Have
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This is What Democracy Looks Like: Notes from Conversations in a Crook County Barn

Into the Central Oregon barn walked students with purple hair, red Chuck Taylor high tops, and silver nose rings. They were gay and straight, male and female; each of them young, and all of them environmental studies majors from Lewis and Clark College in Portland. Greeting them were farmers in Oregon State baseball caps and ranchers with silver hair beneath cowboy hats, and small timber operators with the scars to prove it. Some were young, but most were less young, and all had lived their lives and were making their living on the soil of the small Crook County community of Powell Butte.

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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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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Making Direct Democracy Truly Democratic

Ashley Trim of the Davenport Institute at Pepperdine University writes about the challenges of the California initiative system and the unique democratic power of the Citizens Initiative Review. Via People2Power.

Help us build a healthier democracy!