This project and website are under development. Updated 2/18/2020
Stick to the Subject      good governance through deliberative democracy   Details    /td>
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Establishing an Ashland, Oregon based knowledge sharing community that can exert a non-partisan influence on public policy.

Not a democracy but a federal republic, the United States of America nevertheless uses the democratic process to elect citizen-representatives and officials to public office, where they become free agents. After voting, the citizen has no control over the elected official and no influence other than protest or persuasion.

Proposed is a regional knowledge sharing program wherein people can enjoin their concerns and ideas on matters of common interest in an open-minded, measured, respectful, and focused manner. Why?

It would use live, in-person discussion events, both ad hoc and planned, combined with an online knowledge base to collect, compile, organize, and report information and points of view on regionally important topics.

Key Program Features:
  • All interaction among participants would be in-person. There would be no chat rooms or discussion forums in the knowledge base, nor links to social media. With the exception of the formal debates, discussions would be held in small groups in informal, comfortable settings.

  • A goal of the discussions would be coming to mutual understanding among people who disagree on important matters, sometimes strongly, and not necessarily on the changing of minds. Civility is maintained by focusing attention on the ideas rather than personalities.

  • Discussions would be civic by nature rather than political. That is, the focus would be on a rational, reasonable, and thorough public discussion of a topic of common concern and its related ideas without considerations of political solutions.

Details

proposed: an online, regional knowledge base combined with a live discussion society for constructive civic discourse   Details
What are the concerns?
Regional Knowledge Base   Details
Society Economy Culture State
Health
Housing
Population
Security
Social Problems
Transportation
Commerce
Economic Indicators
Economic Systems
Finance
Land and Natural Resources
Public Finance & Taxation
Education
Recreation
Religion and Beliefs
Theatre and Art
Electoral College
Jackson County Government
Oregon State Government
Political Parties
Tribal Governments in the U.S.
U.S. Federal Government
Topics are organized into subtopic trees.
Health
Diseases 
 - Diabetes 
     - Treatment 
          - Drugs 
               - Insulin 
Costs and Financing 
 - Insurance 


Each topic has a module built around a series of related discussion questions, such as these:

The High Cost of Insulin Insulin prices have risen significantly over the last 15 years leading to rationing and preventable death. What can be done?
Catastrophic Wildfires and Logging Could increasing logging prevent or mitigate catastrophic wildfire damage?
Self-Driven Vehicles How much privacy and freedom of movement will be lost when people no longer control their personal vehicles?
DUI Punishment Has the punishment for DUI infractions in which neither people nor property are injured become too severe? Has a new pariah class been created?
Population Trends What is the optimum population for the Rogue Valley? What happens past that point?
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What are the ideas?
Live Discussion Society   Details