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Healthy Democracy

aka Healthy Democracy, Healthy Democracy Oregon   |   Portland, OR   |  www.healthydemocracy.org

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Mission

Healthy Democracy is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that works to elevate the voices of everyday people, bring new faces to public decision making, and design a more collaborative democracy together. As a leading innovator in the field of deliberative democracy, Healthy Democracy designs and coordinates lottery selected processes that radically expand who participates in our democracy and set a new standard for collaborative politics. We fulfill our mission by: 1) promoting and advocating for lottery-selected panels, 2) delivering lottery-selected panels, 3) providing civic education and capacity-building services, and 4) incubating new program innovations within our field.

Ruling year info

2011

Program Co-Director

Linn Davis

Co Principal Officer

Alex Renirie

Main address

PO Box 18104

Portland, OR 97218 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

27-1457207

NTEE code info

Voter Education/Registration (R40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
Register now

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In 24 states voters make major policy choices on the ballot. The problem is that direct democracy itself suffers from many of the same ailments it was meant to originally correct. While it's always been somewhat subject to emotional manipulation and the influence of money, it is impossible to ignore the alarming trend in this type of direct democracy over the past two decades—from an imperfect but well-intended mechanism for expressing the public’s will to an overt expression of special interest power. When it comes to voting on these critical issues, citizens are inundated with confusing campaign messages which are often full of misleading or even false information. Polls have shown that while large percentages of voters often find ballot measures confusing, they still cast votes on the very measures they report they do not understand. Healthy Democracy's Citizens' Initiative Review is a reform to the initiative process that changes the dynamics of power in ballot measure elections.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Delivery of lottery-selected deliberative panels

Healthy Democracy designs and convenes processes that empower everyday people to solve tough public policy questions. In partnership with governments and organizations, HD staff manage all aspects of program delivery, including selecting panelists, developing detailed process designs appropriate for the policy question, communicating with the public, and facilitating the deliberative process.

Population(s) Served

Healthy Democracy continues to be a leading organization in the international field of deliberative democracy and an advocate for the proliferation of inclusive, deliberative democratic reforms. Healthy Democracy promotes the concept and benefits of lottery selection and deliberation to a wide variety of new audiences and trains new advocates to do so as well.

Population(s) Served

Healthy Democracy is a key source of information for organizations, government bodies, and members of the public who are interested in deliberative democratic innovations. HD works to build awareness and capacity for such democratic practices through classroom presentations, capacity building workshops for governments, and training programs for practitioners.

Population(s) Served

Healthy Democracy works with fellow deliberative democracy practitioners and program-specific evaluators to develop, incubate, and refine new design concepts that improve deliberative processes. HD staff regularly consult with government staff on process designs that range from one-time deliberative panels to permanent systemic reforms.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adolescents
Adults
Adolescents
Adults
Adolescents
Adults
Adolescents

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of meetings or briefings held with policymakers or candidates

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Delivery of lottery-selected deliberative panels

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of meetings held with decision makers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of invitations for advocates to speak as experts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Delivery of lottery-selected deliberative panels

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of individuals attending briefings and presentations

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Delivery of lottery-selected deliberative panels

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of government officials who publicly support the advocacy effort

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Delivery of lottery-selected deliberative panels

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of funding dollars secured for demonstration projects or pilots

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Delivery of lottery-selected deliberative panels

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of research or policy analysis products developed, e.g., reports, briefs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Delivery of lottery-selected deliberative panels

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of new organizations signing on as collaborators

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Delivery of lottery-selected deliberative panels

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of demonstration project or pilot sites

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Delivery of lottery-selected deliberative panels

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of training events conducted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Delivery of lottery-selected deliberative panels

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The CIR process provides voters with strong and reliable information that directly helps them sort through competing claims about ballot measures and reduces undue influence of paid political advertisements. The main goals are: 1. Reliable Voter Information: An independent, expert evaluation funded by that National Science Foundation found the CIR panels were analytically rigorous and fairly conducted, and that the Citizens Statements were widely used and valued by large percentages of voters. 2. Unique Citizen Engagement: The CIR engages individuals that often lack a strong voice in civic life and governance, such as youth, people from rural locations, and communities of color. By putting voters in this unique and powerful role, the CIR provides citizen panelists with a positive experience of civic responsibility as this diverse group works together respectfully, using their differences to produce meaningful citizen-driven evaluations of ballot measures.

During the Citizens’ Initiative Review, 10,000 invitations are sent to randomly selected voters. From those who agree to participate, a panel of 24 randomly-selected and demographically-balanced voters (age, gender, ethnicity, geographic location, political party affiliation, etc.) are brought together from across the state to fairly evaluate a ballot measure. The panelists meet for several days to review a ballot measure (they are compensated for their time and travel expenses). Panelists gather initial information about the measure and question advocates for and against the measure and neutral policy experts. The panelists have the opportunity to ask questions of experts and advocates. At the conclusion of each review, panelists draft a ‘Citizens’ Statement’ highlighting the most important findings about the measure. Each ‘Citizens’ Statement’ is published as a page in the voters’ pamphlet as an easily accessible resource for voters to use at election time.

Healthy Democracy developed the Citizens' Initiative Review process, building on the conceptual framework of the Citizen Jury model, which in turn was developed by one of Healthy Democracy's founders, Ned Crosby. Mr. Crosby has a nationally and internationally recognized expert in this process, and has contributed extensively to the intellectual and practical framework of the CIR over the years. The CIR is unique in the United States, and has been voted into law in at least one state (Oregon), with pending legislation in another state (Massachusetts). It has been piloted in other states such as Arizona, Colorado and California, and been twice received Harvard University's Ash Center "Top Ten" for Innovations in Government Awards.

In 2012, over half of Oregon voters read a Citizens’ Statement and two thirds found it useful when voting. Media have praised the CIR for offering “the most objective analyses of the issues we’ll be voting on” (La Grande Observer). Elected leaders from both parties compliment the process for offering voters a chance to provide quality information to their fellow citizens.

The independent research team’s 2012 results can be found at: http://www.la1.psu.edu/cas/jgastil/CIR/ReportToCIRCommission2012.pdf

The Citizens' Initiative Review will continue to take place as initiatives make their way to the ballot, to provide unbiased and trustworthy information to the voting public.

Financials

Healthy Democracy
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Healthy Democracy

Board of directors
as of 10/04/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

John Horvick

John Horvick

Jim Scherzinger

Lyn Carson

Awab Al-Rawe

Marjan Ehsassi

Patsy Kraeger

Seely Umlaut

Victor Reuther

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/4/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.