4 Objectives Increase knowledge of public deliberation and how it can engage people in public decision making. Become actively involved in fostering public deliberation as a means of resolving challenging public problems.
Addressing Public Issues For democracy to function, citizens must accept responsibility in making public decisions. Ways to get public input: Voting Polling Debate Letters to the editor Civil disobedience Demonstrations/protests Town Hall Meetings Boycotts
Coming Together as a Community Case Study - The Birmingham Story 8
Public Deliberation A way of reasoning and talking together: Weighs alternative solutions to a public problem. Considers consequences, costs, and benefits. Challenges people to identify trade-offs. Respects others’ perspectives and values. Requires that people: Interact peacefully. Share knowledge and perspectives on issues. Organize to act publicly on these issues.
Public Deliberation (Cont.) May reveal new possibilities for action. The goal is to move people toward shared, stable, well-informed public judgments, based on what is valuable to them about important issues. A means to find common ground for action and secure commitment to work together. 10
Public Deliberative Forums Center around a public problem (not a solution that a group is trying to advance) Complex, no simple answers There is time for deliberation; not an emergency Deliberative; beyond debate or simple discussion Diverse participants and perspectives
Public Deliberative Forums (Cont.) 15 – 20 participants sit in a circle Use an Issue Book Facilitated by a trained moderator and recorder 2 to 2½ hours Opening Deliberation of approaches Reflections/Closing 12
13 Issue Books A structured dialogue offering 3-4 approaches to a challenging public problem. Over 50 topics are currently available from public deliberative organizations.
Moderators and Recorders Facilitate the deliberative forum by keeping discussion on track and recording the deliberations. Trained at Public Policy Institutes Currently over 200 trained moderators and recorders in Oklahoma. Visit www.OKDeliberates.org to find someone in your area.www.OKDeliberates.org
After the Forum Nationally: Moderators from multiple forums report outcomes of the deliberation and public deliberation organizations prepare national reports (3 or 4 per year) In Oklahoma or locally: Forum outcomes are compiled into a final state or local report, which is shared with the community and officeholders The public takes action
16 Studies of Public Deliberation Deliberative Forum Participants: Come from every part of society. Reconsider their own opinions and judgments. Approach issues more realistically considering costs, consequences and trade-offs associated with policy options.
17 Studies of Public Deliberation (Cont.) Deliberative Forum Participants: Reconsider & develop greater understanding for the views of others. Define their self interests more broadly. Develop a greater sense of confidence in what they can do politically. Become more interested in political and social issues.
Public Deliberation Organizations Both NIF and Everyday Democracy produce issue books to guide community discussion. See their websites for complete lists. 19
20 Oklahoma Partnership for Public Deliberation
21 How to Get Involved Go to www.nifi.org or www.everyday- democracy.org and review topics that are of interest to you and represent a problem in your community.www.nifi.orgwww.everyday- democracy.org Visit OPPD’s website at www.OKDeliberates.org. www.OKDeliberates.org Conduct a Forum! Become a Moderator and Recorder!
22 Final Thoughts “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed that is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead “Few of us will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.” Robert F. Kennedy