Skip to Content

Modern Direct Democracy in Switzerland and the American West

Events | Headline and Cultural Forums

For more than a century, Oregon has led the country in direct democracy, with the state’s voters confronting more initiatives than other Americans—and the rest of the world is taking notice. As Californians struggle to redesign their own century-old direct democracy and the European Union begins to develop a new initiative process, people around the world are studying the Oregon example, seeking lessons about what works, and what doesn’t, in citizen legislation.

This program-one part of an extensive series in California, Oregon, and Arizona—offers a rare opportunity for direct cultural and conversational exchanges on how to make direct democracy work better, in and beyond Oregon. The program brings together a rich array of participatory direct democracy experts from Europe and the United States, including: Bruno Kaufmann, President, Initiative and Referendum Institute, Europe (University of Marburg), Joe Mathews, senior fellow, New America Foundation. Salvor Nordal, chair of Iceland constitutional convention; Ramon Casiple, Philippines, Institute for Political and Electoral Reform; Tyrone Reitman, co-director, Healthy Democracy Oregon.

The public program will being at 4:00 p.m. with opening remarks by Kate Brown, Oregon Secretary of State; followed by a 5:30 p.m. program with an introduction by Swiss Consul General Julius F. Anderegg and remarks by Joe Mathews, New America Foundation; closing with A New American Infrastructure for Citizens Participation, a presentation at 7:00 p.m. in the Agnes Flanagan Chapel by Tyrone Reitman of Healthy Democracy Oregon.

This day-long gathering is cosponsored by the Consulate General of Switzerland, the Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe, Democracy International, New America Foundation, Zocalo Public Square, Healthy Democracy Oregon, and Lewis & Clark College.

For additional information:

Hosted by Spiretech