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Report from the April 2006 Policy Consensus Initiative (NIF Report)

This report paints a picture of state legislators that may be at once familiar and new. It examines the role that legislators play in the context of today’s political scene. In some ways, legislators continue to work as they have in the past. But the environment has changed, and legislators across the country are responding to those changes by practicing politics differently. New roles are emerging for legislators as problem solvers, facilitators, and conveners. In short, legislators are learning that leadership is often about inspiring people to work together to resolve problems.  Find more details on the NIF website. From the report's conclusion...
The bottom line, from the standpoint of the legislators interviewed for this report, is that they recognize the challenges they face as members of legislatures in meeting public expectations and dealing with nagging policy problems that don't seem amenable to solutions.  As Leaders, they are finding that they can often be equally or even more effective when they involve people in the decisions that affect their lives.  They also recognize the benefits of being able to help forge relationships, build new leadership, and strengthen their communities.  The new role of convener is often just the tool they need.
More about National Issues Forums and their Reports on the Issues... The National Issues Forums (NIF) network includes civic, educational, and other organizations, and individuals, whose common interest is to promote public deliberation in America. NIF issue guides introduce participants to several choices or approaches to consider. Rather than conforming to any single public proposal, each choice reflects widely held concerns and principles. Panels of experts review manuscripts to make sure the choices are presented accurately and fairly. Look through all the NIF issue guides and their corresponding moderator guides, DVDs, and other resources at www.nifi.org/issue_books. Reports are published periodically to communicate the outcomes of forums held across the nation about a particular issue. Making use of participants' answers to forum questionnaires, reports from moderators, and in-depth studies of selected forums, these reports describe in some detail what happened as people deliberated about the issue at hand. View all NIF Reports on the Issues at www.nifi.org/reports/issues.aspx. NIF issue books & associated tools can be accessed at www.nifi.org/discussion_guides/index.aspx. Resource Link: www.nifi.org/reports/detail.aspx?catID=19&itemID=6528 (or download directly from this link)

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