It’s like jury duty, but for getting things done

Article by Hollie Russon Gilman and Amy Eisenstein: “Citizens’ assemblies have the potential to repair our broken politics…Imagine a democracy where people come together and their voices are heard and are translated directly into policy. Frontline workers, doctors, teachers, friends, and neighbors — young and old — are brought together in a random, representative sample to deliberate the most pressing issues facing our society. And they are compensated for their time.

The concept may sound radical. But we already use this method for jury duty. Why not try this widely accepted practice to tackle the deepest, most crucial, and most divisive issues facing our democracy?

The idea — known today as citizens’ assemblies — originated in ancient Athens. Instead of a top-down government, Athens used sortition — a system that was horizontal and distributive. The kleroterion, an allotment machine, randomly selected citizens to hold civic office, ensuring that the people had a direct say in their government’s dealings….(More)”.

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