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

Welcome to What’s Next

What's Next California is a launching point for a new online and face-to-face conversation to find out what citizens want from and for their government. It is unprecedented attempt to bring the people into the processes of improving California's government, and government's responsiveness to the people, in a representative and thoughtful way.

On June 24-26, a broad coalition of reform-oriented organizations will bring together 300 scientifically selected Californians in Torrance to conduct our state's first-ever Deliberative Poll. What's Next California will bring a microcosm of the state's registered voters in one room to spend the weekend exploring a wide range of governance, finance, and constitutional issues.

The Deliberative Poll is not designed or intended to seek consensus on any particular issue or approach but rather to explore the broad perspectives thoughtful citizens from California's many different communities bring to critical questions on California's agenda. The weekend convening will create opportunities for a uniquely informed discussion among Californians and with experts that has a dynamic far different from exchanges between self-selected members of the public and officials or "top of the head" opinion polling. Visitors to the What's Next California website at nextca.org will have the opportunity to share views with others post questions to a broad range of issue experts.

Judy Woodruff of the PBS NewsHour will moderate the questioning of the expert panels by the citizen participants in Torrance and anchor a documentary report on the event produced by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions and broadcast on California's PBS stations.

In recent years there have been many individual efforts to address some of the problems facing government, often fragmented and limited in their success. Today, many of the organizations pursuing reform have come together to work collaboratively toward positive change. Through What's Next California these organizations are reaching out to Californians to find out what they want from and for their government. 

Dan Werner is Executive Producer of "By The People" at MacNeil/Lehrer Productions.