Monday, November 30, 2009

Town Hall Online?

The Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC) is an organization invested in creating a "movement to promote and institutionalize deliberative democracy at all levels of governance in the United States and around the world." Below, Matt Leighninger, Executive Director of the DDC, gives a quick overview of online deliberative town hall meetings that have taken place with Members of Congress across the country in recent months. He writes:

"A recently released report shows that Members of Congress who held a deliberative, online town hall meeting with their constituents increased their public approval ratings. The average gain was 18%. This finding stands in sharp contrast to the reception given the traditional, non-deliberative town hall meetings on health care held last summer. The report analyzed a series of 13 online town hall meetings between Members of Congress and their constituents, and the impact that participation had on the Member, the Member's constituents, and the citizen's perceptions of both their elected official and the issue being discussed. The research was conducted by the Congressional Management Foundation, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Northeastern University, Ohio State University, and the University of California-Riverside."

For more information on these town hall meetings and the full report Leighninger mentions, visit:

A big thanks to Matt & DDC for circulating this information!

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