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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate?

Oregon’s Kitchen Table invites people across the state who are over the age of 13 to participate.  We strive to engage people who are politically active as well as people who have been — or have felt — outside the political process. Whether you are a concerned neighbor, active volunteer, community leader, parent, or have never participated in a civic engagement processes before, we want to hear from you and we want you to join your fellow Oregonians in helping support the Oregon communities we all care about.

How does a public consultation work?
  1. Decision makers propose key questions on policy and governance issues that call for citizen input.
  2. Oregon's Kitchen Table staff works closely with the project team members to create questions that allow the public to share their opinions, attitudes, ideas, beliefs and values.  
  3. The public is invited to the table — via Oregon’s Kitchen Table's website — by using their mobile devices, tablets, computers and in-person opportunities to share their views on issues of importance and follow consultation results.
  4. Where possible, Oregonians have opportunities to gather in face-to-face settings to listen to one another and deliberate about the questions.  They are then encouraged to sign on to Oregon’s Kitchen Table website and weigh in on critical issues.
  5. The results of the consultations are made available to decision-makers, the media and the public. This information can help lawmakers make tough decisions on critical public policy issues.
Is Oregon’s Kitchen Table representative of the community?

Our goal is to accurately gather input from the entire state on statewide issues and to accurately gather input from communities on regional or local issues. We use organizing techniques and partners to try to reach historically underrpresented Oregonians. As Oregon’s Kitchen Table continues to extend its reach (which you can help us do by inviting your friends!), it will become possible to pull representative random samples from the whole to verify the results. Help us extend and diversify the conversation by inviting people you know to the table.

How is Oregon’s Kitchen Table input used?

Information gathered from Oregon’s Kitchen Table consultations is published on this website in the The Results section. Oregon lawmakers, decision-makers, researchers and opinion leaders can use consultation data to help make tough decisions on critical public policy issues.

How is it funded?

Oregon’s Kitchen Table is a non-partisan partnership of higher education, non-profit organizations and civic leaders, funded by state and local government. 

How do you know members are providing valid information?

Like other forms of community engagement and opinion research, we count on people being honest. After all, this is a way for people to share what they think with decision makers, so it’s in their own interest to be truthful. We’re trusting Oregonians to tell it to us straight.

What about people without internet access or who have disability or language barriers?

Oregon’s Kitchen Table is committed to trying to bring all Oregonians to the table.  We partner with local libraries and community-based organizations when we conduct consultations to increase access for folks without internet access. We work with translation and intrepretation services to provide materials in a multitidue of languages.  Currently,  you can sign up for Oregon's Kitchen Table in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Somali, and Russian.  We offer paper and online translated consultations in these languages when our community partners request it.  Our long term goal is to be able to offer all translation for the different types of engagement activities Oregon's Kitchen Table has to offer. We’re committed to identifying and addressing barriers to participation and hope you will offer any suggestions or solutions you have so we can make it easier for everyone to take part.  Please contact Sarah Giles ( or 503-725-5248) to request any accomodations or additional information.

What will Oregon’s Kitchen Table do with the personal information I share?

When you participate in an Oregon’s Kitchen Table consultation, the answers you provide will be reported to the National Policy Consensus Center at Portland State University and our partners in an aggregate, anonymous form. The information you provide will not contain or be linked to any information that personally identifies you, including your name, e-mail address, or mailing address. Instead, your answers are linked to an anonymous ID number that is used internally.

Our commitment to your privacy:

  • Your privacy will be respected and your answers will be maintained and used only as described in this Policy.
  • Your name, address, phone number, personal information, and individual responses will only be used as described in this Policy and except as otherwise described herein, will not otherwise be disclosed to anyone without your consent.
  • We will clearly represent to you what we are doing through our Site.
  • Our research is not a guise to sell you something or to ask for money.
  • With your consent, we will contact you via email so you will not be interrupted at inconvenient times.
  • Your decision regarding participating in a consultation, answering specific questions, or discontinuing your participation will be respected.
  • We will do our best to make your participation in a consultation a pleasant experience.

Read our entire Privacy Policy.