On May 9, 2019, the Kettering Foundation and the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) will host A Public Voice 2019 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The 9:30-11:30 a.m. Eastern Time, panel discussion will be livestreamed on Facebook, where viewers will be welcome to post their comments.
At the event, National Issues Forums moderators, analysts of forum outcomes, and members of the policy community will talk about public deliberation; how that public thinking differs from the "public opinion" usually available to policymakers; and what public thinking has emerged to date from National Issues Forums (NIF) forums on political division, among other issues.
Additionally, panelists will exchange ideas about which issues warrant deep public deliberation and action in the next few years. They will share what some of those issues are, what concerns they have regarding these issues, how it affects them and their work, and why the issues require public deliberation.
Audience members at the event and watching on the livestream will have an opportunity to pose a question to the panel and/or comment on what they've heard during the program.
About the A Public Voice 2019 event:
For more than 30 years, the Kettering Foundation, in collaboration with the National Issues Forums Institute, has organized A Public Voice. This annual event brings together representatives from forum groups around the country and from national dialogue and deliberation organizations as well as elected officials and staff, to explore the contributions that a deliberative public makes to addressing some of the most challenging issues facing our communities and elected officeholders.
A Public Voice 2019 focuses on an issue important to all Americans: political division. After extensive research and testing with citizens around the country, the Kettering Foundation prepared an issue guide for the National Issues Forums (NIF): A House Divided: What Would We Have to Give Up to Get the Political System We Want? Citizen deliberations using the issue guide are taking place throughout 2019 in public forums around the country. In these public forums, citizens consider the options for dealing with a problem, share their views, and weigh the costs and benefits of possible actions. Forums are held both online and face-to-face, typically last two hours, and attract participants of all ages from all walks of life.
This year, A Public Voice will use the issue of political division and a range of others to engage policymakers in conversation about public deliberation—what it is, how it differs from polls and focus groups, and why it has value for them. The session will also include an exchange among policymakers and deliberative democracy practitioners about issues the NIF network might tackle in the future. In early 2020, the Kettering Foundation and National Issues Forums Institute will publish a final report on the 2019 NIF forums on political division, followed by briefings for individual elected officials, Capitol Hill staffers, and other policymakers.
Other ways to participate Online:
Join the A Public Voice 2019 online watch party - May 9, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time
Participate in an online Common Ground for Action forum - A House Divided May 9, 12:30 p.m. ET
Participate in an online Common Ground for Action forum - A House Divided May 10, 4:00 p.m. ET