Lottery-Selected Panels

Lottery-Selected Panels convene groups of everyday people, who are randomly selected and representative, to help elected officials tackle tough policy questions.

Following a highly structured process, each Panel conducts research, interviews experts and staff, deliberates on policy alternatives, and recommends a course of action to decision-makers. Because the Panel is a microcosm of the public – in terms of age, ethnicity, political party, gender, and other factors – its resulting report comes with an inherent legitimacy that sets it apart from conventional public advisory committees.

Local governments in Canada, Australia, and across Europe often employ Lottery-Selected Panels as public decision-making tools. In the US, Healthy Democracy uses a specialized, research-tested Panel, called the Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR), to provide voters with trustworthy information about ballot measures. Oregon enshrined the CIR in law in 2011 and publishes CIR statements in the state’s voters’ pamphlet.

The Panel Process

More About Panels

Lottery-Selected Panels 1-Pager (PDF)

Our brief introduction to Lottery-Selected Panels (formerly branded Citizens Juries in this document).

2020-21 Eugene Review Panel on Housing

Eugene was the first city in Oregon to convene a Lottery-Selected Panel on a major planning project. From Nov. 2020 to April 2021, 29 Panelists advised the City on its implementation of Oregon House Bill 2001, which required all cities to make significant housing code changes. Read more on this project page.

2019 Milwaukie Citizens Jury on City Council Compensation

As part of the first-ever Lottery-Selected Panel in an Oregon city, 20 residents of Milwaukie, Oregon, advised the City Council on a tough issue: how much to pay members of the Council and the Mayor. The Panel (branded a Citizens Jury at the time) ran over four days in November 2019. Read more on this project page.

Questions?

Have a difficult or divisive policy question in your city? Want to explore a new kind of democratic engagement?