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

Welcome to Farres Alkhaiyer . . . Dreams away from screams

Monday, August 12 marked Farres Alkhaiyer’s first day with Healthy Democracy. Farres joins Healthy Democracy as a fellow in 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
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Citizens Jury is coming to Milwaukie, Oregon

Five thousand randomly selected Milwaukie households were mailed a letter this week, giving individuals in those households a chance to be part of a unique partnership between the City of Milwaukie and Healthy Democracy. Individuals who receive the mailing can be a part of the first ever Citizens Jury in the state, in Milwaukie. A
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Eight Suggestions for Democracy – John Frohnmayer’s Keynote Speech

John Frohnmayer was the keynote speaker at the Healthy Democracy 10th Anniversary Celebration on April 8, 2019. Enjoy his words of wisdom . . . and celebrate our 10 years and beyond! Nobody ever said that being a citizen in a democracy was easy. Each of us in this room tonight could give at least
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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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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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