As of 2010, Portsmouth, New Hampshire (population 20,000) has sustained the practice of organized, public dialogue and deliberation for over ten years. Since 1999, diverse community groups in Portsmouth have organized at least six rounds of large-scale dialogue-to-action circles (study circles) initiatives. This case study provides brief descriptions of four of these initiatives from 1999 through 2004. Descriptions of Portsmouth’s later public engagement initiatives will be added to this entry at a later date, or posted as separate entries.
The Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform was a body created by the government of British Columbia, Canada. The Assembly was charged with investigating and recommending changes to improve the electoral system of the province. The body was composed of 160 citizens selected ar random from throughout the province. These members met approximately every other weekend for one year to deliberate about alternative voting arrangements.