2000s

Citizens Initiative Review (2001)

Twenty-five residents from the state of Washington participated in a Citizens Jury to examine a proposed mechanism that could provide Washington citizens with more information about ballot initiatives. The Jefferson Center served as advisors to this project, as it was sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Washington. The project was conducted in order to explore the use of citizens’ panels as a way of encouraging citizen participation.

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Metro Solid Waste (2001)

Eighteen Twin Cities metro residents participated in the Citizens Jury and met for five days to examine solid waste management issues and practices. The project was sponsored by the Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board (SWMCB). The jury developed recommendations about strategies for managing the region’s solid waste. These recommendations were used by decision makers in developing a strategic plan for the region’s future waste management practices.

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Global Climate Change (2002)

Eighteen Atlantic Coast residents participated in the Citizens Jury and met for five days to examine global climate change evidence, perspectives, issues, and possible policy options. The project was conducted with support from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

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Community Engagement and Deliberative Democracy (2005)

On May 27, 2005 the Western Australia Department for Planning and Infrastructure convened a 16-member Citizens Jury as a demonstration project. The Citizens Jury was held in conjunction with a conference on Innovations in Community Engagement. The jury was charged with determining whether methods of community engagement might be useful in Western Australia, particularly for solving water issues. The jury evaluated a number of democratic methods, discussed how these methods might be used, and how citizens could be engaged in water management. Jury members presented their findings to the Conference. This jury, a microcosm of citizens of the Perth area, surprised the experts by coming up with original ideas for creating and implementing democratic processes. The Citizens Jury in Perth showed that average citizens can and will make intelligent choices and interesting suggestions. They demonstrated the high quality results that can be achieved when citizens deliberate.

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Early Childhood Education (2008)

17 randomly selected citizens of Minnesota gathered to be informed on the issues of early childhood education, and later, deliberative democracy. The jurors were assigned the charge of deciding whether they felt Minnesota should be spending more, the same, or less in the area of early childhood education.

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Election Recounts (2009)

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Minnesota State Representative Laura Brod sponsored the Jury. Over the course of three, three-day weekends beginning on June 5, 2009, 24 citizens, representing a balanced cross section of Minnesota and selected at random, listened to presenters who gave them background information on the Senate recount and opinions on potential changes to consider. They heard from political party representatives, state and local election officials, academics, a Canvassing Board member and other presenters. They asked questions, studied documentary information and engaged in discussion and deliberation with each other in both small and large group settings. Their recommendations are contained in this report.

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