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Posts tagged ‘voter education’

Public Agenda’s Nonpartisan Voter Guides Help Citizens Face Tough Choices

By Allison Rizzolo, Senior Communications Associate, Public Agenda

This election season, Public Agenda‘s nonpartisan Citizens’ Solutions Guides  provide a roadmap for voters to navigate through some of the trickiest, yet most important, issues facing the country today.

A healthy democracy requires the active engagement and participation of its citizens. Unfortunately, too many young people–and adults, too–feel left out of the democratic process. They don’t think they have the skills or the knowledge to participate. Hostile partisan rhetoric leads many into abject cynicism or the sort of wishful thinking that won’t get us anywhere.

The Citizens’ Solutions Guides seek to remedy this situation, providing civic education resources to help us confront our problems in thoughtful and productive ways that will lead to sustainable solutions.

Citizens don’t need to be experts to weigh in on our options– we just need a few basic facts to understand the tradeoffs and consider our solutions. To this end, the Solutions Guides:

  • provide the background necessary for understanding these complex issues;
  • examine some of the approaches endorsed by candidates and policymakers from across the political spectrum; and
  • look at some of the pros and cons for these approaches, from a variety of perspectives, so citizens can understand and weigh the tradeoffs inherent in any pathway forward.

In this way, citizens can think through what’s most important to them as they decide on the candidate that will receive their vote.

The Citizens’ Solutions Guides are written in approachable language and without the wonk or the rhetoric. The series is grounded in Public Agenda’s Choicework approach to deliberation, which helps get voters out of an either/or, politicized frame of thinking to start focusing on practical solutions.

The guides, made possible by the generous support of The Dilenschneider Group, tackle 6 important policy issues: the federal budget, energy, health care, immigration, education, and jobs and the economy.  The guides can be used as discussion starters for community and group conversations in libraries and classrooms. Each guide is available as a free, interactive PDF, which can be accessed at

For more information about Public Agenda or the Citizens’ Solutions Guides, email Allison Rizzolo at Join the conversation on Twitter! Use hashtag #Solutions2012, and find us at @PublicAgenda.

National Voter Registration Day: September 25, 2012

National Voter Registration Day — a non-partisan effort — is September 25, 2012. Will your campus be participating?

Monday, August 20th is the last day campuses and organizations will be able to sign up for National Voter Registration Day to host an event and still receive free materials. There are 2 easy things you can do to make sure you and your partners receive free posters, stickers and a beginners guide to organizing:

1.) Create an event on the National Voter Registration Day website to let new volunteers, and people who would like to register on the 25th, know how to find you. Click here or follow the link to:

2.) Spread the word to any of your affiliates, friends, or family that want to join the effort to register thousands of people on September 25th.


In 2008, 6 million Americans didn’t vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn’t know how to register.1 In 2012, we want to make sure no one is left out.

National Voter Registration Day

On September 25, 2012, volunteers, celebrities, and organizations from all over the country will “hit the streets” for National Voter Registration Day. This single day of coordinated field, technology and media efforts will create pervasive awareness of voter registration opportunities–allowing us to reach tens of thousands of voters or more who we could not reach otherwise.

What It Means

• Celebrities registering voters and generating buzz at surprise locations.

• Volunteers at transportation hubs, retail stores, sporting, and concerts.

• Technology to help eligible voters find registration drives nearby.

• A network of grassroots, local organizations engaged in their own communities.

• Tens of thousands of voters registering to vote online and offline in a single day.

What It Will Accomplish

Register Voters: A network of a thousand organizations operating on the ground and through social media will register tens of thousands of voters in the field and tens of thousands more online–while also receiving pledges to vote from the already registered.

Mobilize Volunteers: By engaging nonprofits not usually engaged in voter registration drives and amplifying existing drives through event-based recruitment and cultural outreach, National Voter Registration Day will bring thousands of additional volunteer voter registrars into the field just when we need them most.

Educate Eligible Voters: Millions of voters need to register and re-register every year. By utilizing new technology and leveraging cultural partners, we’ll educate more Americans than ever before, bringing new voters into the fold.

Change the Conversation: National Voter Registration Day will be an opportunity to put our differences aside and celebrate the rights that unite us as Americans.

National Voter Registration Day

Project Overview

National Voter Registration Day is managed by a working group of six organizations (APALA Education Fund | Bus Federation Civic Fund | Fair Elections Legal Network League of Women Voters | Nonprofit VOTE | Voto Latino). The project is fiscally sponsored by the Oregon Progress Forum (tax ID: 93-1314754), a 501(c)(3) public charity). Contributions may be sent to:

Oregon Progress Forum

333 SE 2nd Ave

Portland, OR 97212


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