To play a catalytic role in helping state leaders develop a collaborative system of governance, Kitchen Table Democracy (formerly the Policy Consensus Initiative), alongside its affiliated university program, the National Policy Consensus Center at Portland State University,:
- Creates and supports collaborative governance capacities, structures, and networks in states
- Offers a nationally recognized source of information on collaborative governance
- Demonstrates effectiveness of collaborative, democratic based processes
- Supports and fosters state leaders who champion these approaches
Services / Projects
Kitchen Table Model
Kitchen Table Democracy supports the work of the National Policy Consensus Center, particularly through the development and replication of its Oregon’s Kitchen Table program. Oregon’s Kitchen Table is an online tool that allows community members to give input to elected officials, participate in civic crowdfunding, and get involved in building prosperity through Oregonian to Oregonian micro-lending. The online activities can be combined with old-fashioned face-to-face conversation and community organizing of all kinds. The Kitchen Table model has had such a great response in Oregon, we’re ready to start rolling it out in other jurisdictions.
Consultation / Technical Service
We work with state leaders throughout the country to initiate and strengthen programs for collaborative governance and democratic practice. This assistance takes many forms, including strategizing with state officials on ways to apply collaborative governance; co-sponsoring conferences and workshops; providing information, resources, and training; and assisting with policy and program development.
We partner with other organizations to explore and demonstrate how states can work on public problems collaboratively with federal, regional, and local agencies and civic and private sector organizations.
We develop and maintain communication networks to help leaders and programs exchange ideas and information. We host the University Network for Collaborative Governance, an organization for college and university centers and programs that engage in service and scholarship in order to enable citizens and their leaders to use collaborative practices to engage in dialogue, deliberation, and negotiation around public issues. We also host 99 Chambers, a joint project with the Kettering Foundation that connects people around the country to their state legislative chambers.
We produce and distribute a range of tools and resources, including publications and videos, that promote best practices and provide guidance on the use of collaborative governance.
*Kitchen Table Democracy (formerly the Policy Consensus Initiative) does not pay facilities and administration or indirect costs to any organization.