September 22, 2022
In 2050, today’s high school students will be at the height of their careers and family lives. What future Oregon will they be living in? How can we support students in their efforts to shape a resilient and prosperous future Oregon?
The Hatfield Futures Project aims to engage students in generating innovative policy proposals for our most important societal, environmental, and economic issues. Our vision is to connect students across the state of Oregon as they collaborate in teams to present forward-thinking ideas at Portland State University in spring 2023 to community leaders, elected officials, and Portland State University faculty.
Students will build on the ideas that PSU faculty lay out in Oregon 2050 to develop their policy proposals. Oregon 2050 is an effort to be visionary and collaborate across traditional silos and outside of the constraints of planning as it has been constrained by practice and law, for a more environmentally sustainable, socially equitable, and fiscally resilient future.
Oregon 2050 offers “big ideas” about how our state will welcome a projected more than one million new residents (relative to the population in 2020), and how we can face challenges and uncertainties about the future, such as the impacts of climate change, ongoing social inequities, and major changes in technology and to the economy.
Oregon's Kitchen Table and PSU's College of Urban and Public Affairs are partnering to launch the Hatfield Futures Project in fall 2022.
This project is named for Senator Mark O. Hatfield. Senator Hatfield represented Oregon in the US Senate for 30 years in addition to serving as Governor of Oregon, Oregon Secretary State, Oregon State Representative and Senator. Senator Hatfield believed strongly that Oregonians need to be engaged citizens if Oregon’s commitment to good government and active participation were to be fulfilled.
February 17, 2022
We're excited to host an opportunity at Oregon's Kitchen Table for all of us in Oregon to share what we think about high school graduation requirements.
OKT is working with Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to gather input from people across the state about state high school graduation requirements. In 2021, the state legislature directed ODE to review state high school graduation requirements. As part of that work, ODE wants to know what matters most to people about earning a high school diploma in our state.
It is important for policymakers to hear about your and your family’s experience in school. What you share will help ODE make recommendations about high school graduation requirements.
In addition to the online survey, there are different ways for people to share what they think on this important topic, including a Zoom community conversation in each of the state's 19 Educational Service Districts. You can find the community conversation for the region or county you live in here. We are also working with community organizers and partners to do culturally specific outreach and engagement.
Share what you think today. And encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to join you! The online survey is available in 7 languages.
January 26, 2022
In August of 2021, newly released 2020 US Census data showed that the number of people living in each of Clatsop County’s five commissioner districts has shifted so that the populations of the boundaries are no longer equally balanced. The Clatsop County Charter outlines a timeframe of 120 days from release of the census data for the County to present to the Board adjustments to the boundaries so that the “total population is allocated nearly equally between the five districts; each of contiguous territory and as compact as possible.”
Oregon’s Kitchen Table worked with the County to conduct a public engagement process to hear from residents of Clatsop County about what was most important to them when considering changes to the county’s district boundaries. In order to reach a number of different communities in different parts of the county, we designed a multi-faceted approach that also took into account existing COVID restrictions. We held five public forums via Zoom during different days and times of day. We also offered an online survey in both English and Spanish. We conducted outreach to Spanish speaking and Latinx / Hispanic community members at two different vaccination clinics held by Consejo Hispano, a community-based organization focused on serving Spanish speaking and Latinx / Hispanic community members in Clatsop County.
About 300 people participated in the different forms of engagement activities. A total of 253 people responded to the OKT online survey available in English and Spanish. 40 people participated via survey questions on paper at two vaccination clinic events. Approximately 25 Clatsop County residents participated in public forums. These activities were conducted between October 12th and November 5th, 2021. Read the summary report from Oregon's Kitchen Table here.
County staff shared the results of the community engagement and provided recommendations on district boundary changes to the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners in December 2021. You can view the boundary changes here.
October 4, 2021
Last fall, PSU President Percy announced the creation of a new Reimagine Campus Safety Committee (RCSC) - made up of students, staff, and faculty - to understand the array of safety needs of the campus community and to reimagine an approach to meeting those needs that reflects our commitment to racial justice and human dignity. The RCSC has been working to develop recommendations for not only new functional approaches to campus safety and security, but cultural shifts that will call forth a new vision of a welcoming campus that promotes well-being and creates the conditions for genuine belonging for all members of the PSU community.
Now the RCSC would like to know what is important to members of the PSU community about safety and belonging on campus. This fall, Oregon's Kitchen Table be hosting an online survey. We are also providing materials and resources for groups to hold their own discussions as well as facilitation assistance for community groups. Contact OKT (email@example.com) for assistance or download a discussion packet here.
We have until October 29th to share what we think either online or in community discussions. The online survey will be open through October 29th.
May 19, 2021
March 19, 2021
As Oregon's Kitchen Table has grown since our founding a decade ago to provide more meaningful opportunities for Oregonians all over the state to participate in public decision making, we've come to identify and embrace a few philosophical frameworks for our work and to hold ourselves accountable in achieving our purpose. We have learned about Popular Education and the work of community healthworkers and those principles and approaches have resonated with us as we think about our foundations here at Oregon's Kitchen Table (more to come on that in the future!). And at the same time that OKT was starting out, Berkeley professor john a. powell began to introduce a framework he calls “targeted universalism”, which has become a significant guide for us as OKT has and continues to evolve. In a 2020 piece published in the National Civic Review, "Take a Seat at Oregon’s Kitchen Table: Adapting Targeted Universalism for Broad and Deep Civic Engagement," OKT Director Wendy Willis shares how targeted universalism informs our thinking about civic engagement and improves our democracy. Read on for more.
August 28, 2020
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!
July 30, 2020
Your fellow Oregonians on the Oregon Citizen Assembly invite you to join them in helping shape recommendations to decision makers on Oregon's recovery from COVID19 and the economic crisis.
This summer we are engaged in an important democratic experiment with our friends at Healthy Democracy: Oregon’s first Citizen Assembly. A Citizens' Assembly is a group of 40 ordinary people with different backgrounds. They discuss public issues and then recommend future policy. They were selected randomly and the group is balanced to match the communities that make up Oregon.
The Oregon Citizen Assembly is discussing the state’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. After their first two meetings (you can watch portions here), they decided to focus on K-12 Education and Rent / Mortgage Assistance. As they look at those two topics, they are 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.
Now they would like to hear from their fellow Oregonians via Oregon's Kitchen Table. Pull up your seat and share your experiences, ideas, and concerns with the members of the Oregon Citizen Assembly. Please invite your friends and family to fill out the survey, too.
The survey will close on Wednesday August 5th at 12 noon. The following night, Augusut 6, we will share the results with the Citizen Assembly. We will also post results here and send you a link to the results.
Your fellow Oregonians thank you!
June 30, 2020
We want to share with you a new effort we are launching this summer with our friends at Healthy Democracy - the Oregon Citizen Assembly. This summer Oregonians from all walks of life will participate in our state’s first virtual Citizen Assembly to weigh in on what could be some of the state’s most important policy considerations in a generation as the state recovers from COVID.
The virtual Citizen Assembly will meet weekly in July and August 2020. They will discuss, deliberate, and develop a set of recommendations for Oregon’s COVID recovery that will be published online in late August and provided to decisionmakers. The Assembly models the kind of participatory democracy growing around the globe in recent years.
The 2020 Oregon Citizen Assembly on COVID-19 Recovery is comprised of 40 individuals from across the state and from diverse backgrounds. The pool of participants were randomly selected to reflect the demographic makeup of Oregon (you can read about the selection process and watch a video of it here). The Assembly will meet for two hours each week, for six weeks, to consider and discuss key questions put forth by state decision-makers. Partway through the process, participants will have a chance to check in with their fellow Oregonians through a survey conducted by Oregon’s Kitchen Table.
Portions of the Citizen Assembly will be open to public observers via livestream on Healthy Democracy’s YouTube Channel. The public sessions will also recorded and available here. Join us in this opportunity for Oregonians to share their needs and priorities for the recovery.
You can read principals and recommendations from the Oregon Citizen Assembly on COVID19 Recovery here.
June 4, 2019
If you live in, work in, or own a business in Multnomah County, now is the time to help shape important decisions that will affect our region! Along the Columbia River - from Smith and Bybee Lakes near Historic Vanport to the Portland Airport and to the Sandy River in Troutdale - a levee is protecting us from flooding.
A group of over 20 organizations that has been working on making sure the levee system meets federal requirements to prevent flooding, wants to hear from you. From June 3 to July 5th, go to Oregon’s Kitchen Table to let that group, Levee Ready Columbia, know your thoughts about the future of the Columbia River Levee. The online survey is available in English, Spanish, and Russian. We will also be holding listening sessions in Spanish, Russian, Somali, Chinese, and Vietnamese during the month of June.
The areas around the Columbia River Levee are home to neighborhoods, businesses, natural areas, major highways, trails, airports recreation, parks, and one of our region’s main sources of drinking water. Share your values and hopes for this important part of our region. Your input will help Levee Ready Columbia work with the community to plan the future of the levees.
Survey responses will be received until July 12, 2019 and compiled by Oregon’s Kitchen Table to ensure their anonymity. We will share a summary of responses later this summer. So pull up a chair today at Oregon’s Kitchen Table – and share widely with your friends, neighbors, and colleagues in the area.
October 30, 2018
Water and water supply affects all aspects of life in the Mid-Coast region - and now's your opportunity to weigh in on planning for the region's water. The Mid-Coast Water Planning Partnership is made up of people with many different water interests from Cascade Head to Cape Perpetua and is working to balance a number of water needs and factors in our region. And now - they want to hear your thoughts and ideas.
Most of the region's water falls as rain during the winter and most of that water is not stored for very long. During the summer, when there is little rain, the Mid-Coast faces water shortages and droughts like other places in Oregon. In 2018, Lincoln County was in a severe drought for most of the summer. Starting today, people who live in, work in, own a business in, or often visit the Mid-Coast (from Cascade Head to Cape Perpetua) can weigh in at Oregon’s Kitchen Table (https://consultations.oregonskitchentable.org/water) to help make decisions about how to best prepare our region to meet our water needs.
Tackling water issues will take everyone. So, it’s time to hear from you! We need as many people as possible who live, work, own businesses, or often visit the Mid-Coast to share their opinions.
August 9, 2018
April 9, 2018
This winter and spring, we've been spending lots of time with Central Oregon communities and our partners Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council and Let's Talk Diversity Coalition. Thanks to funding from Meyer Memorial Trust, our partnership group - led by COIC and also including the Ford Family Foundation’s Ford Institute Leadership Program alumni, the communities of La Pine, Sisters, Madras, and Prineville, as well as other partners - has been supporting Central Oregon communities to increase and broaden community engagement around economic development issues, priorities, and projects in each city.
In winter, Oregon's Kitchen Table hosted an online consultation on people's hopes for the future of downtown La Pine. Over 700 people shared their thoughts and ideas to help inform decision the City of La Pine is preparing to make about downtown and about a vacant lot purchased by ODOT for a transportation use. Participants were asked about their current use of downtown La Pine followed by a series of questions about what they would generally like to see more of. The next section of questions focused on the particular property that would have a transportation use but also has the potential for other uses; these questions tested out preferences for what kind of a space people would like to see as well as what particular uses they would like to have. Read the report on the results here.
Next up: We're in Sisters in April and May to provide support to Sisters Country Horizons, a visioning effort for Sisters and surrounding areas. If you live in, work in, or often visit Sisters Country, help shape a vision for the community's future - attend a community meeting, share your input via an online survey, or host your friends, neighbors, or family members in a discussion from the comfort of your own table. Check out all the ways you can get involved.
Image - Patrick Davenport, Sisters
January 29, 2018
On January 30th, Oregon’s Kitchen Table is launching a crowdfunding campaign for the restoration of the iconic network of trails that are around Multnomah Falls. The trails include the Multnomah Falls Trail to upper Benson Bridge, the Wahkeena Falls Loop, and Angel’s Rest Trail. We're working with the U.S. Forest Service Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area as well as a number of other partners in helping to restore those trails damaged during last fall's fire - and we're inviting you to join us and Be There for The Gorge!
For donors outside of the United States, please make your donation to Be There for The Gorge through PayPal (your donation will be processed through Oregon's Kitchen Table's non-profit 501(c)3 arm, the Policy Consensus Initiative / Kitchen Table Democracy).
Let us know some additional information by filling out this form once you've made your donation.
January 19, 2018
The City of La Pine wants to know how people who live in or visit La Pine often use downtown now and how they would like to use downtown in the future. Oregon’s Kitchen Table will be hosting a public input survey online from January 19 – February 19, 2018 for people who live in or around La Pine or are visitors to La Pine to share their thoughts on downtown.
Also, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the City just bought a vacant lot where Highway 97, 4th Street, and Huntington Road meet. That property must be used in some way for public transportation for the City. But we can use that space for more things like food, greenspace, or other kinds of uses. The survey will also collect what the public would like to see there.
The City wants to hear what hopes you have for downtown La Pine as a whole and for this lot. But, reaching that vision will take all of us. We need as many people as possible who live in and around La Pine to share your opinions. So please fill out this survey at https://consultations.oregonskitchentable.org/la-pine. We value your opinion!
October 24, 2017
Hood River is facing one of the most serious housing shortages in Oregon. This has been an issue for some time, and the City is looking at a variety of policy options to continue to make housing more affordable and available. As part of this process, the City wants to hear about your values and hopes for housing and our community as a whole. If you work in, live in, or would like to live in the City of Hood River share your thoughts on housing in the county on Oregon's Kitchen Table from October 24 - November 22, 2017.
Actualmente, Hood River tiene uno de los déficits de vivienda más graves de Oregon. Este problema persiste desde hace algún tiempo y el gobierno de la ciudad está analizando diferentes políticas que ayuden a que haya más viviendas disponibles a un costo más accesible. Como parte de este proceso, el gobierno de la ciudad desea conocer qué es importante para usted y cuáles son sus expectativas en cuanto a la vivienda y nuestra comunidad en general. Nos interesa conocer las opiniones de las personas que viven, trabajan o quisieran vivir en la ciudad de Hood River. Esta encuesta se realizará hasta el 22 de noviembre de 2017.
June 12, 2017
June 2, 2017
Like many communities in Oregon and around the country, John Day is considering its economic future. Recently, a team of community leaders came together to consider possible strategies to help make John Day and all of Grant County as economically strong and vibrant as possible. As part of that process, the team is considering a number of ideas to strengthen and diversify the economy. They want to hear from you about your values and priorities!
John Day is the most populous city in Grant County. As of the 2010 census, there were just over 1,700 people living in John Day, down from a high of just over 2,000 people in 1980. John Day—like all of Grant County—has a proud heritage as a natural resource-based economy. Over the years, that economy has receded, and Grant County’s population has declined as a result.
Today, John Day is considering how to create a vision for the future that both supports the traditional economy and creates opportunities for Grant County residents to innovate and expand into new economic frontiers. The community leaders working on this project imagine a future in which Grant County residents create lasting prosperity for their families and community by both respecting tradition and taking advantage of future opportunities in new and emerging markets.
This effort was made possible in part by a grant from The Ford Family Foundation. The City of John Day, Grant County, Grant School District #3 and the Blue Mountain Hospital also contributed for the project.
Photo: Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives
November 18, 2016
Whenever we hold a public consultation with Oregonians here on Oregon's Kitchen Table, we bring you into a conversation with elected officials, public agencies, or other community leaders who are making important decisions. Often, your input on those decisions is one step in that decision making process, and we know it isn't always easy to see how what you had to say played a part in how that decision comes out. That's why we bring you the results of every public consultation and - even better - we try to bring the leaders back into the conversation to share with you what they heard and where they're going next. Over on Meyer Memorial Trust's blog this month, you can read what the Educational Portfolio team heard from you this spring / summer on the foundation's educational priorities and investments and where they're going next.
June 22, 2016
This spring, our home base at Portland State University, the National Policy Consensus Center, worked with the City of Hillsboro to engage and prepare a diverse group of residents to serve in a range of civic leadership capacities within the city.
The group of 12 participants came together for six weekly sessions to learn new skills and insights as they also collaborated on an project important in their community, a housing report to the City. The goal of the Hillsboro Leadership Academy was to learn about the role of government and public issues in the Hillsboro community, figure out how participants might take on some form of civic leadership within the City, and forge new relationships and connections with fellow Hillsboro residents.
Some thoughts from the Hillsboro residents themselves (above, holding the street signs with their names that they received upon completion!) on the Hillsboro Leadership Academy:
From the first night we met, I was excited to see that passion for our Hillsboro community was a shared value amongst the diverse group that has been selected to participate in this inaugural program. Passion and diversity were necessary components of the product we are presenting to you tonight.
I would like to be more involved in my community so that I can encourage other Latinos to do the same. We can be a voice for those that are afraid or shy to participate. Leading by example is the best thing I can do to encourage them.
I was interested in getting more involved with the City and I applied to the Academy to get a feel for what would be involved with being on a Board or Commission or City Council. After experiencing the academy, I am more aware of the level of commitment it takes and I am tremendously grateful to all those who commit their time to serve our City. I have recently volunteered to help on the Hillsboro Transportation System Plan Steering Committee.
If your community is interested in bringing a similar training to your city or county, let us know!