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

Media Advisory: Deliberative Poll Results News Conference

Lara Azar

Californians Say We Can Come Together and Strengthen Government, even in Bitter Political Climate
Results of historic Deliberative Poll reveal deep desire to engage & find solutions

SACRAMENTO, CA – In California's first ever historic deliberative poll, participants reflecting the Golden State overwhelmingly agreed it is possible to come together and supported reforms that would improve the legislature's ability to do its job. Many also had a change of heart on some issues after discussing them with peers.

The results of the unprecedented What's Next California civic engagement project will be unveiled at a news conference and panel in the state's capital.

Monday, August 22, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


California Chamber of Commerce,
1215 K Street, Suite 1400
Sacramento, CA 95814 [map]


  • Lenny Mendonca – director, McKinsey & Co; member, CA Fwd Leadership Council; member, New America Foundation Board of Directors
  • David Davenport – research fellow, Hoover Institution; member, CA Fwd Leadership Council
  • James Fishkin – director, Stanford Center for Deliberative Democracy
  • Joyce Cooksey-James – Deliberative Poll participant; resident, Sacramento, CA



The deliberative poll used a scientific sample of California registered voters with balanced briefing materials, moderated small group discussions, Q&A sessions with experts, and an opportunity to register opinions in confidential questionnaires before and after the poll.

"This type of poll shows which proposals the public would support on the basis of good information," says Deliberative Poll creator James Fishkin. "Ordinary polls simply provide a snap shot of the public's impressions. What would the people think if they focused on the issues beyond a sound bite and had a chance to really weigh the competing arguments?"

A coalition of non-partisan reform organizations, academics and journalists brought together more than 400 California voters to discuss and deliberate issues facing the state, including: the initiative process; the role of the state legislature; tax and fiscal issues; and how programs and services are delivered at the local level.