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School of Public Policy Gets Ready for Healthy Democracy

From the Pepperdine University Graphic: The Pepperdine School of Public Policy is continuing its work from last semester on a project to make the California Initiative process more transparent for its students. Headed by Dean Pete Peterson of the Davenport Institute, the School of Public Policy intends to bring Healthy Democracy, an organization based in …

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Citizens’ committee drafts pro and con arguments for marijuana legalization in Massachusetts

From MassLive: Legalized marijuana in Massachusetts would be safer than marijuana bought on the black market, because it would be tested and labeled. But after legalization in Denver, the black market continued to thrive. These were among the findings released Sunday by a panel of 20 Massachusetts residents who spent four days analyzing the marijuana legalization …

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CITIZENS PANEL NARROWLY ENDORSES MEASURE 97 TAX MEASURE

From Oregon Public Broadcasting: What happens when you put 20 average Oregonians in a room and ask them to spend four days learning the ins and outs of Measure 97? That may sound like the wonkiest reality show ever, but it actually happened over the weekend at Western Oregon University. A group of Oregonians selected to represent the …

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Can Citizen Governance Save Our Republic?

From Governing magazine: . . . Other states have taken their own steps to amplify citizen voices and drown out special interests. In 2011, the Oregon legislature established a Citizens Initiative Review Commission that convenes panels of 18 to 24 randomly selected citizens who, along with experts, collaboratively evaluate the facts and ramifications of pending ballot …

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PARSING THE PROS AND CONS OF MEASURE 97 MEANS WORK FOR VOTERS (OPINION)

From The Oregonian: Now that it has qualified for the ballot, there has been a predictable increase in public discourse about what is now known as Measure 97, the corporate gross receipts tax measure. This ballot measure will no doubt continue to generate intense interest, with a deluge in advertising from opposing campaigns sure to follow. …

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Think Too Much: Citizens’ review offers insight into measures

From the Albany Democrat-Herald: Next month, 24 randomly selected Oregon voters will gather at Western Oregon University in Monmouth to weigh the pros of cons of Measure 97, the controversial proposal for a gross-receipts tax on certain Oregon corporations. Think of the group as an impartial grand jury of sorts: Members will hear presentations from proponents and …

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Confused about the marijuana ballot question? Committee to draft statement explaining pros, cons

From MassLive: A group of politicians and academics — including former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis — are piloting a program to have a committee of citizens analyze the ballot question on legalizing marijuana and draft a statement of its pros and cons to be distributed to voters. “This is going to be a great thing for …

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CITIZENS’ INITIATIVE REVIEW NAMED TOP 10 GOVERNMENT INNOVATION BY HARVARD

From Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government: Cambridge, Mass. – May 5, 2015 – Today the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, announced the Top 10 programs for the Roy and Lila Ash Innovations in Public Engagement in Government Award, including the four finalists who will …

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NPR: VOTERS WILL GET THEIR SAY ON GMO LABELING IN COLORADO AND OREGON

From NPR: Ben Hamilton walks down the salad dressing aisle at his neighborhood grocery store in west Denver. The human resources consultant usually seeks out organic options and scans nutrition information. “I am a label reader. I think a lot of people read labels and really are curious to know what is in our food supply,” …

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CITIZENS’ REVIEW OPPOSES GMO LABELING (VIDEO)

From KDRV Newswatch 12: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5fbFrAAdpQ CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — The statewide debate about labeling foods containing genetically modified organisms might not end on the same side as the local elections. A recent citizens’ review polled 20 random voters for their recommendations on measures in the election this fall. The panel found that labels required by …

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CITIZENS BALLOT REVIEW GETS TEST DRIVE WITH COLORADO GMO LABEL MEASURE

From KUNC: Colorado voters will have extra help making up their minds about a ballot initiative to label genetically modified foods. A new effort, the Colorado Citizens Initiative Review, will produce a voter guide on Proposition 105, a ballot measure that proposes labeling foods containing genetically modified ingredients. The review is a pilot project aimed at helping …

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GMO LABELING MEASURE GETS NARROW ‘NO’ RECOMMENDATION FROM OREGON CITIZENS REVIEW PANEL

From The Oregonian: A 20-member citizens panel has narrowly voted against recommending passage of the Oregon Mandatory Labeling of GMOs initiative. The panel, convened by the Citizens Initiative Review Commission voted 11-9 to oppose Measure 92, which would require the labeling of food products containing genetically modified ingredients. Political observers expect the measure, which will appear on the November …

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CITIZEN PANEL OPPOSES OREGON FOOD LABELING MEASURE

From KOIN 6: A citizen review panel is narrowly opposing an Oregon ballot measure to require labeling of genetically modified foods. Twenty voters chosen to represent a cross section of the electorate voted 11-9 on Sunday to oppose Measure 92. The Citizen Initiative Review panel heard arguments from both sides over several days. Read the full …

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CITIZEN PANEL OPPOSES TOP-TWO BALLOT MEASURE

From Herald and News: A panel chosen for a citizen-level review of ballot measures isn’t persuaded that Oregon should ditch its partisan primaries and adopt the top-two election system used in Washington and California. The voters on the Citizen Initiative Review panel heard arguments from both sides this week. After deliberating, they voted 14-5 to oppose …

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CITIZENS INITIATIVE REVIEW PANEL’S FINDINGS ON GMO BALLOT MEASURE

From The Medford Mail Tribune: Following are the key findings on Measure 15-119 — which would ban genetically modified crops in Jackson County — from a Citizens Initiative Review panel moderated by Healthy Democracy Oregon. 15-119 prohibits growing of genetically engineered crops in Jackson County. It protects family farmers from serious risk that their crops will …

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GMO CITIZEN REVIEW FINDINGS (VIDEO)

From KDRV Newswatch 12: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVSEl1gu5qg This May, Southern Oregon will be asked to decide between several measures and candidates in the 2014 primary election. According to the organization, Healthy Democracy, one out of every four Oregonians say ballot measures are hard to understand. They say this can be discouraging, and often a vote is uncast. …

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VOTERS HELPING EDUCATE VOTERS ON PROPOSED GMO MEASURE

From KOBI: Measure 15-119, is a proposed ban on genetically modified crops on the upcoming May ballot. The measure is complicated and is also a very controversial topic. Executive Director of Healthy Democracy Oregon Tyrone Reitman said that’s why they are in Jackson County to help “we decided ultimately that we wanted to go with probably …

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CITIZEN PANEL REVIEWING PROPOSED GMO CROP BAN

From The Medford Mail Tribune: A citizen panel’s analysis and resulting public findings on banning or allowing genetically modified crops in Jackson County will not be the only point of study during the panel’s information-gathering process over the next three days. Professors from Colorado State University and Penn State University will also be hard at work, …

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INITIATIVE REFORMS LIKELY TO BUILD CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT, TRUST IN GOVERNMENT

From Public Policy Intitute of California: A report released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) recommends three steps to improve the initiative process—steps that reflect both Californians’ desire to continue making laws at the ballot box and their criticisms of the system. These policy changes would connect the legislative and initiative processes, increase …

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Guest Post: The Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review

From the Democracy Fund blog: Local and statewide initiatives and referenda give citizens the opportunity to vote directly on legislation, but voters often lack the information they need to make informed choices. The State of Oregon has created a potential remedy for this situation, called the Citizens Initiative Review (CIR), which convenes a group of …

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