July 2013 Bar Bulletin
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July 2013 Bar Bulletin

Oregon's Citizens' Initiative Review - RIP Speaker Series


In 2011, Oregon adopted a first-of-its-kind Citizens' Initiative Review (CIR) program to directly engage Oregonians in evaluating the merits of ballot measures. Through the CIR program, 24 randomly selected and demographically balanced citizens agree to sit on a public panel in Salem to hear arguments from experts on both sides of pending ballot measures. The CIR panel issues findings in the form of a Citizens' Statement and takes a vote on whether the measure should pass or fail.

The Citizens' Statement is then included in the voter information packet given to voters. The efforts to implement CIR were led by the nonpartisan organization Healthy Democracy Oregon, whose sister organization, Healthy Democracy, is now charged with running the program.

In its continuing study of Washington's referendum and initiative process, the Referendum and Initiative Project (RIP) of the KCBA Public Policy Committee has asked Tyrone Reitman, executive director of Healthy Democracy, to speak with the group on Oregon's experience with CIR and whether something similar would be right for Washington voters. This third installment of the RIP Speaker Series, "Oregon's Citizens' Initiative Review," with Reitman as the guest speaker, will be held on July 31 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the KCBA offices.

Reitman's background is in political reform work, advocating for increased transparency and accountability in government and politics. Reitman also has worked for and volunteered with a number of ballot initiative campaigns, acquiring a firsthand understanding of Oregon's initiative process. Reitman graduated with a Master's of Public Administration from the University of Oregon. His studies focused on political reform and decision making in volunteer-based organizations.

The RIP Speaker Series is open to all KCBA members. Please RSVP to Heather Mullin at heatherm@kcba.org if you plan to attend.


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