News and Events
The Davenport Institute Partners With Non-partisan, Non-profit Organizations to Lead “What’s Next California?”
The Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy and Stanford University’s Center for Deliberative Democracy are partnering with a coalition of non-partisan reform organizations, academics, and journalists to conduct California’s first-ever “Deliberative Poll” of the state’s registered voters on a wide range of state and local governance issues. The event will take place in Torrance, Calif. on June 24 to 26.
At the event, titled “What’s Next California?” citizen participants will educate themselves on key issues, question experts with competing perspectives, and address complex policy questions. The participants’ views will be recorded in identical before-and-after surveys. Judy Woodruff of the PBS NewsHour will moderate the questioning of the expert panels by the citizen participants and anchor a documentary report on the event produced by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions and broadcast on California’s PBS stations.
“What’s Next California?” is being convened by a non-partisan, non-profit coalition of reform, academic and policy organizations. In addition to Pepperdine’s Davenport Institute and Stanford’s Center for Deliberative Democracy, organizers include California Forward, the New America Foundation, the Public Policy Institute of California, the Nicholas Berggruen Institute, the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University, and California Common Cause.
“I’ve been very impressed with the level of discussions from people who come from a wide range of ideological perspectives,” says Pete Peterson, executive director of the Davenport Institute. “All have demonstrated a real concern with presenting the tough trade-off decisions that confront our state.”
Peterson also coordinated the development of the 22-person team of moderators who will facilitate the event’s small group discussions. Most of the moderators are policy graduate school students from several Southern California universities.
“This event will give hundreds of everyday Californians who do not usually have the chance to weigh in on policy to make their voices heard on issues that affect each of us every day,” says Lenny Mendonca, of California Forward and the New America Foundation. “We sincerely hope that the valuable data we glean will be taken seriously by lawmakers and reform organizations as they move forward.”