24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, California 90263

On February 23-24, 2007 Common Sense California will be presenting a very significant opportunity to explore important ways of furthering democracy in California. This conference — Deliberative Democracy in California — will be cohosted with the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy, with additional sponsorship by New America Foundation.

Several opinion leaders around the state have come to believe that the tools of deliberative democracy may be the best hope for addressing the very serious long-term political problems facing California, especially the deep sense of alienation citizens feel toward governance in the state. The emerging field of deliberative democracy uses tools such as citizen dialogues, deliberative polling and citizen's assemblies to engage regular citizens in policy issues to break through partisan gridlock, overcome special interest domination, and rekindle a sense of civic ownership in the conduct of government. Early successes show great promise and we are inviting a number of civic leaders in California as well as experts nationwide, to join us in an examination of deliberative democracy and how it might be useful in improving public policy in the Golden State.

On Friday morning, February 23, we will hear from several experts and practitioners about deliberative democracy. These include Dr. James Fishkin, director of the Center for Deliberative Democracy at Stanford University, Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer, director of AmericaSpeaks in Washington, D.C., and Dr. Steven Rosell, president of Viewpoint Learning in California, all leaders in the field. We will also receive a report from the citizen's assembly project in British Columbia.

On Friday afternoon, we will invite a wide range of leaders of social, cultural, business, nonprofit and political systems in the state to comment on how they believe tools of deliberative democracy might be useful in California, and what limitations or challenges they may see. On Saturday morning, we plan to carry out a deliberative exercise that would consider several specific approaches we might take in California.

We believe this conference can led to wider understanding of deliberative democracy by policy makers and opinion leaders in California which, in turn, might lead to its wider application here.

For further information please contact Christina Ramirez at 310-506-7497 or [email protected].

Official Website: http://www.commonsenseca.org/upcomingconference.asp

Added by planspark on February 5, 2007

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