A Deliberative Poll for CA's Future :: Summer 2011

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State-Local Reform

Local governments – counties, cities, and "special districts" such as school districts – provide many of the services that we use on a daily basis, from schools and police protection to the water in our faucets and the collection of our trash. Californians expect local governments to produce high-quality services, as cost-effectively as possible. Read More

Taxation & Fiscal Policy

The way state and local governments collect public revenue for public services has come under increased scrutiny during our state’s recent fiscal crisis, as has the question of what California can afford. The tradeoff between funding for essential services and their inevitable pocketbook implications makes tax policy a constant cause of controversy. Read More

Initiative Process

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the creation of California’s initiative process, a system designed to put lawmaking power in the hands of the people. The initiative allows voters, often acting in organized groups, to collect signatures in order to put a new law or a change to the state constitution before their fellow voters on the ballot. Read More


With one Assembly member for every 467,000 residents and one state Senator for every 934,000 residents, our legislative districts are nearly ten times the national average. When assemblymembers represent nearly half a million residents and travel long distances across their districts, direct interactions with constituents are scarce. Read More

Golden State
of Mind

Californians Speak Their Mind

Faced with huge challenges but always pursuing new opportunities, what do Californians think? What's Next California asked — and the people answered — on June 24-26 in Torrance at California's first ever Deliberative Poll®. Randomly selected Californians participated in an in-depth weekend poll tackling the most important governance issues we face. The results - scheduled for release on August 22 - should help guide our leaders and voters on the important choices ahead, so we want everyone to follow along. Learn More

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Deliberative Initiative: Returning Direct Democracy to the People

We have just completed 100 years of experimentation with the initiative in California. It was intended to empower the people to initiate the agenda for elections in which all the voters cast ballots. But the signature gathering process has itself become a barrier to the people’s agenda. What’s Next California charts a new path. Full Article

The Power of Deliberative Polling - Discussion and Screening

Deliberative Polling offers deep insights and a capacity to inform and engage citizens that is truly unique in today's public square. Join SPUR - the San Francisco Planning + Urban Research Association - for a discussion on how deliberative polling continues to inform California's most important reform efforts. Full Article

California State of Mind: PBS Special Debut

The PBS Newshour By the People special covering the What's Next California Deliberative Poll begins airing this evening on PBS SoCal. Full Article

What's NextCA