In summer 2020, Oregon’s Kitchen Table and Healthy Democracy co-convened Oregon’s first Citizen Assembly. 36 Oregonians from all walks of life met seven times via Zoom to discuss, deliberate, and develop a set of recommendations for Oregon’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic and social aftermath.
During their initial meetings, the citizen panelists decided to focus on K-12 education and rent/mortgage assistance as their two main COVID-19 recovery topics. As they deliberated on those two topics, they were also responding to a question from a state senator about how the pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated racial and economic inequities and what might be done to address those inequities.
The Assembly’s Citizen Panelists reviewed written public testimony to the Oregon Legislature’s Joint Special Committee on Coronavirus Response, heard from a variety of expert witnesses, and deliberated over seven two-hour sessions. They also reviewed responses from an Oregon's Kitchen Table survey to get a sense of what other Oregonians across the state are thinking about regarding COVID-19 and K-12 education and rent/mortgage assistance.
We're so excited to share with you the recommendations from the first Oregon Citizen Assembly - a group of Oregonians from across the state and all walks of life who came together for 7 weeks this summer (over Zoom) to discuss and deliberate on COVID-19 Recovery. Their report includes both Core Principles and Policy Recommendations. The project was a partnership between Oregon’s Kitchen Table and Healthy Democracy. Panelists were randomly selected from across the state of Oregon, to reflect a microcosm of the state on age, gender, race/ethnicity, geographic location, political party registration, educational attainment, and voter frequency.
The Principles and Recommendations were written by the Assembly’s Citizen Panelists, after reviewing written testimony, hearing from a variety of expert witnesses, and deliberating over seven two-hour sessions. They also reviewed responses from an Oregon's Kitchen Table survey to get a sense of what other Oregonians across the state are thinking about (watch for our full report from that input in the coming weeks!). They represent the words of Panelists themselves without editing from staff.
You can also watch a virtual press conference where OCA members present their recommendations to Oregon State Senator Jeff Golden.
We can't wait to see what future iterations of the Oregon Citizen Assembly looks like. There are plenty more places where the wisdom of groups like the OCA can be brought to help shape issues around the state. Thank you for being with us over the past few weeks!