Local governments – counties, cities, and "special districts" such as school districts – provide many of the services that we use on a daily basis, from schools and police protection to the water in our faucets and the collection of our trash. Californians expect local governments to produce high-quality services, as cost-effectively as possible. Read More
The Deliberative Opinion Poll®
For the What's Next California Project, a random sample of California citizens will be called and given a brief survey that establishes their demographic and attitudinal profile. After the survey, the citizens will be invited to attend the Citizen Deliberation event. To minimize barriers to participation, citizens will be paid a stipend for their time. Those who say they will come to the event are sent balanced background materials. More than 300 participants will come together for a day and will be randomly assigned to moderated small groups to discuss the issues. As part of their small group discussions, they will develop questions to ask a balanced panel of experts on each issue. At the end of the event, they will fill out another survey. The citizens' changes of opinion from before and after their deliberation are analyzed. These results will be shared with the larger public and with opinion-leaders and policy-makers. These informed views often challenge the conventional wisdom about public priorities and concerns.
Click here to view a diagram of the Deliberative Poll process
The weekend and online deliberation for the What’s Next California Deliberative Poll will be broken down into for main areas: Initiative Process,Tax & Fiscal Policy, Representation and State-Local Reform. What's Next California established a rigorous, transparent process to insure that the Deliberative Poll topics and background materials reflect a broad range California’s political and policy viewpoints. Two advisory committees were organized to consult on the preparation of the Deliberative Poll topics and background materials: one of citizens from around California with different political and policy perspectives and one of well-known academic thinkers with specialized areas of expertise.
As Jim Fishkin noted: "A deliberative poll can provide a route to responsible advocacy — what the people of California would think about the issues if they really focused on them with good information. It will represent everyone under conditions where they can think about the difficult trade-offs of possible reforms."