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Citizens’ Initiative Review Process Launches in Colorado

Our friends at Healthy Democracy, an NCDD organizational member, recently made an announcement that I am personally excited about, and that we wanted to let you know about too: the Citizens’ Initiative Review Process is expanding to Colorado!

As a Colorado resident myself, I couldn’t be more pleased that this innovative democratic process is coming to my backyard, especially given how popular ballot initiatives are here in CO. In their recent announcement, Healthy Democracy had this to say about the expansion:

The Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR) has been giving Oregon voters information they can trust since 2010, and other states are taking notice. In fact, this fall we’re helping local organizations bring fact-based ballot measure analyses to Colorado!

Ballot measures in Colorado drive some of the state’s largest policy decisions, yet 75% of voters say they often find measures too complicated or confusing to understand. Accurate and unbiased information is not only difficult to come by, it is often obscured by misleading statements and advertisements by both sides of an issue.

2014 marks the first year the Citizens’ Initiative Review will be conducted in Colorado, and if successful, the program could expand to multiple ballot measures in future election cycles.

The Colorado CIR expansion effort is being supported by Colorado NCDD organizational member Engaged Public as well as the Civic Canopy and, of course, Healthy Democracy.

Colorado has had important and controversial initiatives on the ballot during almost every election in recent memory, including our now-famous Amendment 64 that legalized recreational marijuana. But many Colorado voters – including myself – can still find the language and framing of these initiatives confusing, even when they’ve heard about them before Election Day. So with two initiatives already slated to be on the 2014 ballot in Colorado and others still possible, there has never been a better time for the Citizens’ Initiative Review to take hold and help voters get clear on the issues in this important swing state.

We wish the folks stewarding the roll out of the new Colorado CIR process the best of luck, and we look forward to seeing the results this Fall!

For more information on the Colorado CIR expansion, visit www.healthydemocracy.org/colorado-citizens-initiative-review.

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Roshan Bliss
An inclusiveness trainer and group process facilitator, Roshan Bliss serves as NCDD's Youth Engagement Coordinator and Blog Curator. Combining his belief that decisions are better when everyone is involved with his passion for empowering young people, his work focuses on increasing the involvement of youth and students in public conversations.

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