UPDATE: Due to a lower-than-typical response rate, we did not received sufficient replies to form a citizen panel fully reflective of the demographics of the Milwaukie public. Therefore, we have taken the unusual step of postponing the Citizens Jury to Fall 2019. More details on that decision (and new dates, when announced) may be found here.
Next month, a panel of 20 Milwaukie residents will participate in a ground-breaking democratic exercise – as members of Oregon’s first-ever local government Citizens Jury. This Citizens Jury will be selected July 18 at a public meeting at Milwaukie City Hall.
Local government Citizens Juries are common in Canada and Australia, but are rare in the United States. They bring together groups of everyday people to study and deliberate on solutions to important policy issues. They are randomly selected from the general public, through a process that results in a panel demographically reflective of the overall population – in terms of age, gender, race/ethnicity, political party, and other factors.
The Milwaukie Citizens Jury will consider the question: “Should Milwaukie City Council members and the Mayor be paid more than their current volunteer stipends? If so, how much should they be paid?” Panelists will question a range of issue experts, deliberate on the evidence, evaluate alternatives, and provide a recommendation to the City Council.
Citizens Juries follow a detailed format to ensure fairness, objectivity, and productivity. The Milwaukie Citizens Jury will take place
over 4½ days (August 10, 11, 17, 18, and 19) at Clackamas Community College’s Harmony Campus, and will be open to the public.
This week, 5,000 randomly selected Milwaukie households will receive a mailing inviting them to participate as a Citizens Jury panelist. The final panel of 20 Milwaukie residents will be selected at a public event from among the respondents to this mailing. This selection event will also be open to the public and take place
Thursday, July 18 at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Milwaukie City Hall. The public is invited to attend to learn more about the Citizens Jury and observe the panelist selection process.
This project is a partnership between the City of Milwaukie and Healthy Democracy, an Oregon-based nonpartisan nonprofit. Healthy Democracy is best known for developing the Citizens’ Initiative Review, which brings randomly selected voters together to evaluate ballot measures and write better quality voter information.
For more information on Citizens Juries, please visit healthydemocracy.org/cj.