September 11, 2023
The Oregon Department of Forestry and the Board of Forestry oversee many forests in Oregon. Now they are updating their strategic plan for the forests. ODF and the Board’s plan includes the mission, values, and goals that they use to make decisions about our state’s public and private forests. It was last updated in 2011.
ODF and the Board are partnering with Oregon's Kitchen Table to hear from people across the state about:
Your input will also help the state make decisions about forests in Oregon. Please share your thoughts in this survey (https://bit.ly/oregon-
Are you interested in hosting a conversation about Oregon’s forests? If you want to lead a conversation, download the Kitchen Table Conversation guide. Contact us (email firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want help hosting a group conversation about forests.
People in Oregon have many different experiences in forests. Several Oregonians have shared stories with us about how they are connected to Oregon forests. Take a few minutes to listen to them. If you'd like to share your own story about forests in Oregon, send us an audio file to email@example.com.
July 21, 2023
A couple of sets of results from recent OKT projects are here! Check them out over at our results page.
We've had the joy of listening to and reading from 1900 Oregonians as you shared what you want to see in the update to Oregon's water strategy. And now we get to share with you what we heard!
Across the different forms of engagement, people responded to questions and held conversations about:
This past spring, the City of Portland, OKT and our Portland State University sister center, the Center for Public Service, brought together international and local experts for 3 days to talk about what the future of community engagement could look like for Portland. We shared meals and traveled to different locations throughout Portland - starting at Zenger Farm in East Portland, moving to the June Key Delta Community Center in Northeast Portland, and ending at the Native American Student and Community Center downtown at PSU. We talked about what is happening in other communities - from Bogota to New York to Syracuse to Alexandria - and what the context and history of engagement in Portland has been. Then we worked together to offer some ideas for the future as the City considers next steps in its work to develop a framework for equitable engagement. Our faculty and graduate student team created this summary report of the three days. The City will also be sharing video recordings from the Summit (currently in process).
May 10, 2023
In Oregon we have a plan for our water: the Integrated Water Resources Strategy. This Strategy helps us understand what water we have available in Oregon and what we need for people, plants, animals, and the land. Now it’s time to update that plan. The Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) and 13 other state agencies are working with Oregon’s Kitchen Table (OKT) to hear what Oregonians want to see in the update to the Strategy. Starting May 11th, anyone who lives in Oregon can share what they think in different ways:
April 19, 2023
Come for the free food, stay for the community and conversation! Please join the City of Portland's Office of Community & Civic Life and Oregon’s Kitchen Table for PEP Talk, a 3-day workshop that will discuss how we can create an equitable engagement model for the City of Portland. This event is part of the City's Portland Engagement Project. For more information about the Portland Engagement Project, please visit the City’s website: www.portland.gov/civic/portland-engagement-project.
The PEP Talk will bring together community engagement experts and individual Portlanders to discuss how we can build proactive engagement structures that will reduce social vulnerability and livability issues, restore trust, and support our communities to thrive.
All Portlanders are invited to participate in one, two, or even all three days of the workshop but space is limited so please register today!
March 21, 2023
Names: Grace Gee, Tenia Morris, Hannah Montgomery (Thurston High School, Springfield)
There are many places to hike and explore nature in Springfield. Family lives near us.
If it actually becomes a piece of legislation, it will be impactful for as long as it exists. We get to truly make a difference in the world.
Hannah - I am the President of the Black Student Union at Thurston.
Grace - I have a herd of goats.
Tenia - I am the Vice President of the Black Student Union.
March 14, 2023
Names: Rylee Etchamendy, Kyah Hunter, Summer Wildbill, Josie Nelson, Mackenzie Walker (Pendelton High School)
It is a rural community, so there’s no traffic. It is a close community, and there is a lot of history from the Pendleton Round-Up.
Being able to have the opportunity to share our voices, and implement change for others in the community and throughout Oregon.
Kyah has been to Disneyland five times
Josie has skied in Canada.
Rylee has held alligators before.
Kenzie has been to Mexico.
Summer is a dual citizen of the Netherlands.
March 3, 2023
Names: Wendy Willis, Sarah Giles, Jacque Fitzgerald, Meaghan Lingo, Roz Owen
Wendy: From SE Portland, I can walk to work and have seen sea lions in the Willamette!
Sarah: Woodstock neighborhood in Portland has a community feel, people look out for each other across generations.
Jacque: From SE Portland I can easily be in the woods or by water.
Meaghan: There are so many beautiful amazing parks in NE Portland that I can walk or ride to.
Roz: Lincoln City has a small town feel - neighbors help and look out for each other.
Wendy: I can’t wait to see and hear the ideas from these amazing young people. Lifelong relationships are being made here.
Sarah: Excited about how the students are really coming from all over the state – it exceeded our expectations.
Jacque: I can’t wait to bring students together from different places all over the state.
Meaghan: Meeting all of the students who are so future minded - it’s so inspiring and makes me think about all of the possibilities!
Roz: Seeing how students engage and what great policies emerge.
Wendy: I have a very clean and elegant jump shot.
Sarah: I’m an Irish citizen.
Jacque: I write and produce music and released by debut album last year.
Meaghan: I’ve never had brain freeze.
Roz: I was offered a ballet scholarship at the University of Utah.
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 partnered to launch the Hatfield Futures Project in 2022-2023.
Teams presented their policy ideas to a panel of judges at Portland State University on April 22, 2023. Learn about the Hatfield Futures Showcase here.
Learn about the Hatfield Futures Project Teams here.
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.
"Our problem is not the lack of knowing; it is the lack of doing. Most people know far more than they think they do."
- Senator Mark O. Hatfield.
Thank you to our Hatfield Futures Project Sponsors for helping to launch this effort!
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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