New Law-Related Citizens’ Participation Project: Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review

The Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR) is a recent, notable, law-related, citizens’ participation effort. The CIR convenes a representative group of Oregon citizens to devote one week to learning about, deliberating about, and voting on a proposed Oregon ballot initiative.

Statements expressing the group’s votes, and the stated reasons for their votes, are then included in the voters’ guide distributed to Oregon voters before the election concerning the ballot initiative. This allows Oregon voters, as they make up their minds about proposed ballot initiatives, to consider the insights and votes of the CIR participants.

In the 2010 voters’ guide, CIR statements were included for Ballot Titles 73 and 74.

As the CIR is being implemented, an NSF-funded research team led by Professor John Gastil of the University of Washington Department of Communication and Professor Katherine Cramer Walsh of the University of Wisconsin Department of Political Science is studying the quality of CIR deliberations and the influence of the CIR statements on Oregon voters. The team includes University of Washington Department of Communication Ph.D. students Katherine Knobloch, Justin Reedy, and Christopher Wells.

Click here for the research team’s report: John Gastil and Katie Knobloch, Evaluation Report to the Oregon State Legislature on the 2010 Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review (2010).

Click here for video of Professor Gastil’s recent presentation about the research findings.

Click here for the Oregon Statesman Journal‘s recent story about the CIR and the research findings.

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