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...

Citizen Panel to be Selected to Review Metro Region Affordable Housing Bond Measure

PORTLAND, Ore. — Healthy Democracy, a nonprofit nonpartisan organization that pioneered the Citizens’ Initiative Review, will be holding a public event to...

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...

This is What Democracy Looks Like:  Notes from Conversations in a Crook County Barn

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.

Participatory budgeting in action

Bringing Participatory Budgeting to the Portland Region

Join us 9am-3:30pm, April 14th, 2018 for "Bringing Participatory Budgeting to the Portland Region", a one-day community forum to learn from PB innovators with experience in Seattle, Oakland, and Boston and discuss the possibilities for our communities.

2017: A Year in Review

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

by chrism70 on flickr

A Case for Citizens’ Initiative Reviews of Criminal Justice Ballot Measures

HD's summer 2017 Nevins Fellow, Andy Puthenpurayil, argues that one often-distorted category of ballot measures – those dealing with 'three strikes' laws and other criminal justice matters – could particularly benefit from the clarity of a CIR-style review.

Linn, Robin, Jake (on a cake), Jessie, and Amanda

The Human Heart is the First Home of Democracy*: A Farewell for Now

Program Director Jessie Conover writes a few goodbyes on her leaving Healthy Democracy and the world of deliberative democracy.

To Have Without Holding: A Farewell Message

Robin Teater writes a goodbye to our beloved program director, Jessie Conover.

An Appeal to Democratic Reformers: Welcome Uncomfortable Speech, Political Pluralism, and Real Disagreement

In a talk at the Frontiers of Democracy conference in Boston, Ashley Trim calls for greater political inclusiveness within universities and the deliberative democracy community.

Actually, More Public Participation Can Save American Democracy

Jessie Conover responds to recent articles calling for less public participation in our democracy.

Jane Jacobs and Urban Planning’s Lesson for Democracy

Linn Davis makes the case for urban thinker Jane Jacobs as a grandmother of modern public engagement.

Conference Recap: Elevate Engagement 2017

Robin Teater and Linn Davis recap the 2017 Elevate Engagement conference.

To Speak the Truth: Reflections on the First Democracy Salon

Wendy Willis reviews our first Democracy Salon on the topic of trust and journalism. The discussion, she writes, surfaced a number of important questions: "What is the appropriate balance between trust and skepticism?" "How do we foster belonging in a mass society?" and, more succinctly, "What the hell is going on?"

A Healthy News Diet, Part 3: The Inspiration, Cass Sunstein’s #Republic

Jessie Conover reviews #Republic, the inspiration for our series on cultivating a healthy and balanced news diet.

A Healthy News Diet, Part 2: Squaring up your own news diet

Jessie Conover shares her own journey to a more healthy and balanced news diet, through a series of simple steps.

A Healthy News Diet, Part 1: An imperfect theory

Jessie Conover discusses the need for a healthy and balanced news diet to support a healthy democracy, including a taxonomy of news "food groups."

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...

Nonpartisan Hygiene: 6 Tips to Stay Squeaky Clean

Program Director Jessie Conover offers tips for nonpartisan organizations in a time of "existential threats to our democracy".

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.

Democracy and the Art of Conversation, Part 2

Linn Davis completes his post on sociologist Sherry Turkle's case for conversation with a review of HD's best ideas for strengthening our skills for political dialogue.

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...

Democracy and the Art of Conversation, Part 1

Linn Davis explores sociologist Sherry Turkle's case for more face-to-face human interaction, in the context of modern US politics.

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...

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