Testimonials

City Staff / Service Partners:

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"In the Healthy Democracy Panel, people showed up to learn, to build community, and to make a recommendation that considered the needs of all rather than the needs of one.Healthy Democracy brought folks from all walks of life from all over our community together. And they weren’t just in the same (virtual) room – they were truly together: caring about each other, considering each other’s perspectives, and building shared knowledge and understanding before making their recommendation. It was honest, it was technical, it was sometimes magical, and it always felt good. The team at Healthy Democracy masterfully facilitated panel discussions, established trust and confidence with City staff, and led a process that I will be proud to have been a part of for the rest of my career.”

- Sophie McGinly, Assistant Planner at City of Eugene Community Planning and Design

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“There is no better example for informing citizens about initiatives than this process.”

- Oregon State Senator Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay)

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"In the Healthy Democracy Panel, people showed up to learn, to build community, and to make a recommendation that considered the needs of all rather than the needs of one.Healthy Democracy brought folks from all walks of life from all over our community together. And they weren’t just in the same (virtual) room – they were truly together: caring about each other, considering each other’s perspectives, and building shared knowledge and understanding before making their recommendation. It was honest, it was technical, it was sometimes magical, and it always felt good. The team at Healthy Democracy masterfully facilitated panel discussions, established trust and confidence with City staff, and led a process that I will be proud to have been a part of for the rest of my career.”

- Sophie McGinly, Assistant Planner at City of Eugene Community Planning and Design

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“This is a chance to see democracy as it should be. Instead of sound bites, there are real people grappling with complex issues.”

- Oregon State Representative Vicki Berger (R-Salem)

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Panelists:

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“Citizenship is not something you think about until we’re called to action. Today – thanks to people who were brave enough to invest in this, I’ve felt more like a citizen than I’ve felt in my adult life.”

- Helain, Arizona CIR Panelist

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"This program has been so useful, especially at a time when the nation is so polarized. The moderators did an amazing job. Nobody was worried about political parties; it was all about the issue. Cheyenne, California CIR Panelist
I feel like life is often a zero sum game. Here, whenever I contributed something, others gave too. That’s really exceptional in this world.”

- Dylan, California CIR Panelist

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“This opportunity to work side by side with fellow voters has affirmed my belief in the value of public participation in the democratic process.”

- Melissa, Oregon CIR Panelist

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"The process was, for me, very interesting – it gave me a lot of insight – and at times it was terribly frustrating – and we were able to work through all of that. This is really, truly democracy in action. 24 different mindsets, 24 different opinions – we all managed to wade through it and come out with a great product.”

- James, Oregon CIR Panelist

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Journalists / Media:

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“The Citizens’ Initiative Review doesn’t attempt to ‘reform’ the initiative process through an ever-tightening set of rules about signature gathering. It attempts to be a leader in nonpartisan political reform by providing accurate information to voters to make a clear choice.”

- Bend Bulletin

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“[The Citizens’ Initiative Review] is the most significant attempt at initiative reform in the United States."

- Joe Mathews, NBC Los Angeles (D-Coos Bay)

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“The Citizens Initiative Review…attempts to be a leader in nonpartisan political reform by providing accurate information for voters to make a choice. Oregon’s effort has gotten the attention of other states and representatives from other countries who are intrigued by the promise it holds. We urge you to check it out.”

- Bend Bulletin

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“The . . . Citizens’ Initiative Review process is already having a positive influence on an initiative system that’s become overly corrupted by big money.”

- Portland Tribune

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Academics (Third-Party Evaluators):

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“The Citizens’ Initiative Review provides a model of citizen-empowering democracy-in-action.”

- Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania

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“The CIR is a promising innovation in the development of democracy. The reviews combine the political power of voting with the educational power of deliberation: the knowledge and insight that can be generated by a diverse group of citizens thinking together about a policy issue. This is an extraordinary step forward for the state, and for the idea of self governance."

- Matt Leighninger, Vice President of Public Engagement at Public Agenda and author of The Next Form of Democracy

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