Davenport Institute Hosts Citizens’ Initiative Review Demonstrating Power of Deliberation in the California Initiative Process

July 24, 2017  | 1 min read

The Pepperdine School of Public Policy and the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership partnered with Healthy Democracy on a project to demonstrate the power of deliberation in the California Initiative Process from March 5 to 7.

The Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR) Demonstration Project brings Californians together to provide clear, useful, trustworthy evaluations of ballot measures. A panel of 18 to 24 voters from California universities heard directly from a ballot measure’s supporters and opponents as well as independent experts. During the process, panelists deliberated on what they had learned in order to fairly evaluate the measure. At the conclusion of the review, the panel presented its findings in a “Citizens’ Statement.”

“The CIR offers a way for everyday Californians to hear from experts and advocates and analyze a ballot measure outside the ‘noise’ of expensive, organized campaigns,” explains Ashley Trim (MPP ’09), executive director of the Davenport Institute. “It was encouraging to see students from across the state enthusiastic about engaging in civil deliberation around a complex issue.”