The Front Porch Forum began as a series of focus groups to study rifts in communication between politicians, public and the media, according to Civic Journalism: Six Case Studies by The Poynter Institute. The group started as a combined effort of The Seattle Times, The Poynter Institute and two NPR stations.
This case study was written by Sandy Heierbacher, Director of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD), in 2001 as part of an independent consultancy for the Center for Disease Control's National Immunization Program.
This case study features a citizens' deliberation using the Dialogue Cirlces method to address inequities in the educational system derived from racism and poverty. This deliberation produced action ideas for various community groups, the successfully-enacted Early Childhood Care and Education Act, and efforts to pass amendment to the New Mexico constitution that would increase state funding for early childhood education.
Sixty miles west of Portland, carved into the northern coastline of Oregon, lies Tillamook Bay. It is fed by five main tributary streams that drain from a watershed basin of approximately 540 square miles, and linked to the open ocean via one channel on its northernmost extremity. It is a smallish estuary, with an average depth of only 6 feet and a total span of about 13 square miles, yet it supports a diverse abundance of fish and wildlife.