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News from Common Sense California

Good news from Common Sense California (www.commonsenseca.org)! The Hewlett Foundation has approved a grant of $600,000, over two years, to support the work of Common Sense California. These funds, assures CSC a two-year period of intensive work in California, at both local and statewide levels, to develop and utilize techniques of deliberative democracy to improve public decision-making and rebuild trust between citizens and government. They are currently seeking partnerships with school districts, cities, counties, regional organizations and civic groups.

CSC is also giving support to a series of town hall meetings in California that are being sponsored by Blue Shield of California Foundation, the California Endowment and the California Wellness Foundation.  On August 11, 4,000 Californians, invited at random, will assemble in 8 sites to devote an entire day to informed discussion and deliberation on the key policy choices before California on this pressing topic. These “21st Century Town Meetings,” are being organized by America Speaks whose President , Carolyn Lukensmeyer, helped spark Bill’s proposal at the February conference. These meetings will be the largest demonstration of deliberative democracy at work in the history of California.

The Town Meetings on that day will use the skills of approximately 400 facilitators! Anyone who is interested in serving that role can go to www.californiaspeaks.org to find out more.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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