Threshold 2008: San Mateo Countywide Assembly on Housing Choices

Is there a critical housing shortage in San Mateo County? If so, what should be done about it? A scientific sample of county residents recently participated in a Deliberative Poll® sponsored by Threshold 2008, a coalition of civic groups in the county. The weekend sample of 238 participants considered competing policy options, became more informed about them, questioned competing experts and by the end of the weekend, changed their views. The Deliberative Poll®, conducted as part of a Countywide Assembly on Housing Choices, was hosted by Cañada College on the weekend of March 15-16, 2008.

AASCU American Democracy Project

How might Deliberative Polling® be used on college campuses to engage students, faculty, staff, and/or members of the broader community in discussions of public issues? Could those deliberations contribute to a more informed community, to better democratic processes, and to the strengthening of the work of preparing undergraduates to be informed, engaged citizens?

Dialogues in Democracy: Citizenship in 21st Century America

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.

Deliberative Polling® on Vermont’s Energy Future

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.

By the People: A National Deliberation on Healthcare and Education

Nearly one thousand adult Americans engaged in a national scientific experiment to see what the public would think about education and health care—if only people became more informed about the issues and talked about them together.

PBS Deliberation Day Shows Americans’ Views on Iraq, Trade

After day-long "Citizen Deliberations," Americans from ten cities across the United States said they believed establishing a democracy in Iraq was less important than ensuring the country has a stable government. They also strongly favored involving the United Nations or other countries in the rebuilding of Iraq and rejected the notion that the United States should be able to unilaterally invade other countries that appear to pose a threat, without international support.