First-of-Its-Kind Citizen Panel Will be Selected to Study Milwaukie City Council Member Compensation

UPDATE: The Selection Event for participants in the 2019 Milwaukie Citizens Jury on Council Compensation has been postponed and will not be held on July 18, as originally scheduled. As of July 17, we had not yet received a sufficient number of responses to form a citizen panel reflective of the general public. Healthy Democracy and the City of Milwaukie are committed to a citizen panel that is a true microcosm of the city it will serve. Therefore, the deadline for responses has been extended until Monday, July 22 at 12:00PM, for both online and mailed responses. As before, this is a received-by deadline, not a postmark deadline. At that time, if we have received sufficient responses to form a panel, we would reschedule the Selection Event for Tues., July 23 – via live stream only. If we have not received sufficient responses, we would postpone the Citizens Jury itself until the fall, would engage in further outreach, and would hold a Selection Event at a later date. In both cases, everyone who has responded so far will maintain their chance at participation. A warm thank-you to those who have replied; we will be in touch on Monday with further details.

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 [see update above] 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 [see update above]. 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.

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Press Release