Robin Teater, Executive Director
Ph: 503-381-1196, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Milwaukie, OR) — A diverse cross section of 18 Milwaukie residents has concluded a four-day review of Milwaukie City Council compensation and presented their findings to the Milwaukie City Council at their November 12 held at the Public Safety Building.
The citizen panel was part of a ground-breaking innovation in democracy, as members of Oregon’s first-ever local government “Citizens Jury.” 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 was asked to 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?” In the course of the 4-day process, panelists obtained information from a wide range of issue and policy experts, deliberated on the evidence they had gathered, evaluated various alternatives, and then concluded by providing a recommendation to the City Council at their November 12 meeting.
Citizens Juries follow a detailed format to ensure fairness, objectivity, and productivity. The Milwaukie jury took place from Nov. 9-12 at Clackamas Community College’s Harmony Campus, and was both live-streamed and open to any member of the public who wished to observe.
The project was 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 from around the state to evaluate ballot measures and publish their findings in the Oregon Voters’ Pamphlet.
For more information on Citizens Juries, please visit healthydemocracy.org/cj.