Working to elevate citizen voices and improve public discourse.

In states. In communities. In schools.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter




Support Our Work








Recent Blog Posts

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
+ Read More

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.

Madison Students Investigate School Safety Through Deliberative Democracy

From May 21st to 25th, 10th-grade students at La Follette High School in Madison will have the opportunity to dive deeper into a hotly debated current issue: whether the Madison School Board should renew its contract for educational resource officers (EROs) at district high schools.

2017: A Year in Review

Executive Director Robin Teater reviews our accomplishments in 2017 and looks ahead to the new year.

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
+ Read More

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
+ Read More

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,
+ Read More

Help us build a healthier democracy!