By the People — through its local public television and community organization partners — hosted Citizen Deliberations in 11 communities around the country focused on the rights and responsibilities of citizens, as they relate to issues of local importance. The local deliberations were accompanied by a national Online Deliberative Poll exploring 21st century citizenship in America. Weekly discussions were held online using audio chat software developed for deliberative polling®. Participants joined a circular meeting space for a moderated discussion using their computer microphones.
The Deliberative Poll questioned an initial random sample of Vermonters, recruited them to spend a weekend deliberating the issues of how Vermont should meet its future electricity needs, and then questioned them again at the conclusion of the weekend sessions. The results addressed a large number of policy issues: for example, what reliance should be placed on energy efficiency and on energy from various sources like wind, nuclear, and hydro in meeting Vermont’s future electricity needs.