AmericaSpeaks is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization that "engages citizens in the public decisions that impact their lives". Washington DC ( formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, the District, or simply D A non-profit organization ( abbreviated "NPO" also "not-for-profit" is a legally constituted Organization whose objective is to support or engage AmericaSpeaks' work is focused on opportunities for citizens to impact decisions and those in leadership positions to make informed, lasting decisions. AmericaSpeaks develops and facilitates deliberative methods such as the 21st Century Town Meeting, which enables facilitated discussion for 500 to 5,000 participants. Carolyn Lukensmeyer is the President and Founder of AmericaSpeaks. Its partners have included regional planning groups, local, state, and national government bodies, national and international organizations. Issues have ranged from Social Security reform, the redevelopment of ground zero in New York and rebuilding New Orleans. Social Security, in the United States currently refers to the federal Old-Age Survivors and Disability Insurance ( OASDI) program The World Trade Center site sits on 16 Acres (65000 m² in Lower Manhattan in New York City. New York ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous New Orleans (nʲuːˈɔrliənz nʲuːˈɔrlənz French: La Nouvelle-Orléans) is a major United States port city and the largest city in Louisiana
AmericaSpeaks was founded in 1995. Year 1995 ( MCMXCV) was a Common year starting on Sunday. Events of 1995 Since then, it has engaged over 100,000 people in over 50 large-scale forums in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
In 1994, after more than ten years of service in the public sector, AmericaSpeaks president Carolyn Lukensmeyer had grown concerned that citizens were increasingly being shut out of public decision-making processes. Year 1994 ( MCMXCIV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display full 1994 Gregorian calendar) Carolyn travelled the United States and held visioning meetings to conceptualize a model for large-scale citizen engagement forums, and the vision for how these forums could be used in national dialogues on key public policy issues.
AmericaSpeaks’ mission is to create innovative mechanisms through which citizens can enhance their voice in local, regional, and national governance, and to renew democracy through the development of a national infrastructure for democratic deliberation.
AmericaSpeaks’ 21st Century Town Meeting is intended to create engaging, meaningful opportunities for citizens to participate in public decision making. This process attempts to update the traditional New England town meeting to address the needs of today’s citizens, decision makers and democracy; however, unlike most of New England's town meetings, it is not a formal legislative body, and therefore none of the decisions made are binding. History See also History of New England New England's earliest inhabitants were Algonquian -speaking Native Americans including the A town meeting is a meeting where the population of an entire geographic area is invited to participate in a gathering often for a political administrative or legislative purpose
The 21st Century Town Meeting marks a dramatic departure from traditional public participation methods, such as public hearings. Public participation is a political principle or practice and may also recognised as a right ( right to public participation) The 21st Century Town Meeting focuses on discussion and deliberation among citizens rather than speeches, question-and-answer sessions or panel presentations. Diverse groups of citizens participate in round-table discussions (10-12 people per table), deliberating in depth about key policy, resource allocation or planning issues. Each table discussion is supported by a trained facilitator to ensure that participants stay on task. Participants receive discussion guides to increase their knowledge of the issues under consideration.
Technology transforms the individual table discussions into recommendations representative of the whole room. Each table submits ideas using wireless groupware computers and each participant can vote on specific proposals with keypad polling. Collaborative software (also referred to as groupware or workgroup support systems) is software designed to help people involved in a common task achieve their The entire group responds to the strongest themes generated from table discussions and votes on final recommendations to decision makers. Before the meeting ends, results from the meeting are compiled into a report, which is distributed to participants, decision makers and the news media as they leave. The news media refers to the section of the Mass media that focuses on presenting current News to the public
AmericaSpeaks meetings address local, state and national decisions.
Listening to the City was held at the Javits Center in New York City in July 2002 to involve 4500 thousand local citizens, who closely reflected the demographic diversity of the region, in the planning process for Ground Zero's future. Jacob K Javits Convention Center is a large Convention center at 11th Avenue on the West side of Manhattan in New York City. The City of New York See also 2002 (disambiguation Year 2002 ( MMII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. The term Ground Zero may be used to describe the point on the earth's surface where an explosion occurs Decision-makers from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the Port Authority co-sponsored the meeting and incorporated it into their official public engagement process. A two-week online deliberation and dialogue reached another 800 New York City residents who reviewed the site options in small cyber groups. Online deliberation is a term associated with an emerging body of practice research and software dedicated to fostering serious purposive discussion over the Internet
"Americans Discuss Social Security" was a 1998 non-partisan effort funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, that directly engaged Americans of all walks of life in a dialogue about Social Security reform and urged the United States Congress to support legislation that reflected citizen preferences. In Political science, nonpartisan denotes an Election, event or organization in which the participants declare or do not formally have a Political party The Pew Charitable Trusts is an independent nonprofit and Nongovernmental organization, founded in 1948 Social Security, in the United States currently refers to the federal Old-Age Survivors and Disability Insurance ( OASDI) program The United States Congress is the bicameral Legislature of the federal government of the United States of America, consisting of two houses Over fifteen months, the project engaged nearly 50,000 Americans in every state in direct discussions on Social Security reform and reached more than twelve million through the project’s media and public education efforts.
The 2005 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland featured a Global Town Hall Meeting by AmericaSpeaks’ international arm, Global Voices, where 700 world leaders prioritized and addressed some of the toughest issues facing the global community. Davos ( Romansh: Tavau, Italian: Tavate is a municipality in the district of Prättigau/Davos in the canton of Switzerland (English pronunciation; Schweiz Swiss German: Schwyz or Schwiiz Suisse Svizzera Svizra officially the Swiss Confederation Poverty and Equitable Globalization were voted the two top priorities.
AmericaSpeaks partnered with the Fund for Our Economic Future to organize a series of town meetings and public forums across northeast Ohio to enable thousands of people to come together to decide what to do to revitalize the region's economy.
AmericaSpeaks worked with the Citizens' Health Care Working Group to engage thousands of Americans in a national discussion on health care reform. The Citizens' Health Care Working Group (CHCWG was charged with listening to the opinions of the general public about how the government can make Health care work better for 21st Century Town Meetings were held in Los Angeles and Cincinnati. Smaller forums were held in other cities throughout the nation.
AmericaSpeaks partnered with the Unified New Orleans Plan to bring together nearly 4000 New Orleanians in two large-scale public meetings to develop and review elements of a city wide-plan for recovery. The December 2006 and January 2007 Community Congress meetings were multi-site meetings that connected participants over geographical distances using satellite video and webcast. In conjunction with the City-Wide meetings, citizens were engaged in district planning meetings, through a 1-800 number, and the UNOP website.
Community Congress I (October 28, 2006) was held in the Morial Convention Center. Events 306 - Maxentius is proclaimed Roman Emperor. 312 - Battle of Milvian Bridge: Constantine Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. AmericaSpeaks did not assist with the outreach for this meeting. The agenda for the meeting was to brief attendees on the state of city recovery. The first Community Congress drew attendees who were 75% white, and 40% of whom had incomes above $75,000, while the pre-Katrina demographics the city were 67% African-American and only 2% of New Orleanians had incomes above $75,000. The meeting was criticized for its unrepresentative participants and for some of its conclusions, which included backing a smaller footprint, and advising that funding should be concentrated on already recovering neighborhoods.
Community Congress II (December 2, 2006) and Community Congress III (January 20, 2007) were both held simultaneously in New Orleans and other American cities with the large numbers of Katrina evacuees (New Orleans diaspora). Events 1409 - The University of Leipzig opens 1755 - The second Eddystone Lighthouse is destroyed by fire Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. Events 250 - Emperor Decius begins a widespread persecution of Christians in Rome. Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. New Orleans (nʲuːˈɔrliənz nʲuːˈɔrlənz French: La Nouvelle-Orléans) is a major United States port city and the largest city in Louisiana The New Orleans diaspora refers to the hundreds of thousands of people displaced from New Orleans Louisiana, by the effects of Hurricane Katrina in the late AmericaSpeaks partnered with the Unified New Orleans Plan to design, recruit participants and implement these meetings. When polled at the meetings, the participant groups closely approximated the pre-Katrina demographics of New Orleans: In pre-Katrina New Orleans, 67% were African-American and 37% had household income under $20,000; at Community Congress II, 64% were African-American and 25% had household income under $20,000; at Community Congress III, 55% were African-American and 24% had household income under $20,000. Renters, however, were significantly underrepresented - prior to Hurricane Katrina, 54% of the population were renters, while they made up only 29% of the participants . Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was the costliest hurricane, as well as one of the five deadliest in the history of the United States The meetings connected New Orleanians at home with friends and neighbors who have not yet made it home through the use of Internet webcast technology or closed circuit television. A webcast is a media file distributed over the Internet using Streaming media technology Closed-circuit television ( CCTV) is the use of Video cameras to transmit a signal to a specific place limited set of monitors Unfortunately, ambiguously worded scenarios at the second Community Congress, particularly those that pertained to "areas of greatest need," caused some of the discussion results to be disregarded. Community Congress III presented the draft plan to citizens, incorporating many of the recommendations from Community Congress II, and 92% of participants expressed support for the Plan to go forward.
In late May 2007, $117 million in federal block grants was released for infrastructure repairs when the Louisiana Recovery Authority board accepted New Orleans' citywide recovery plan. The money is the first step toward financing a city recovery plan officials say will cost $1. 1 billion. When releasing the money, The Louisiana Recovery Authority board recognized that the Unified New Orleans Plan was a citizen- driven recovery vision developed with "unprecedented participation and representation from every part of the city. "
Nearly 3,500 Californians gathered in eight cities on August 11, 2007 in an interactive forum on health care priorities called California Speaks, and 82 percent advocated major changes. Events 2492 BC - Traditional date of the defeat of Bel by Hayk, progenitor and founder of the Armenian nation Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. California Speaks was a statewide deliberative forum on Health care reform that took place on August 11, 2007 in eight counties in California The project was created and led by AmericaSpeaks.
The most popular suggestions called for putting people before profit, prioritizing wellness and prevention, and making health care affordable and accessible to everyone. The statewide conversation was created to enable ordinary Californians to tell state lawmakers what they think about the current health care reform proposals.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, Senate President pro Tem Don Perata, Assembly Republican Leader Mike Villines and other Republican and Democratic legislators attended the event. Each of the lawmakers emphasized his commitment to passing health care reform in 2007.
The real-time, nonpartisan health care discussion blended small-group dialogue with cutting-edge technology. Satellite television, webcast, simultaneous television broadcast, groupware and individual voting keypads were used. Forums were held in Sacramento, San Diego, Eureka, Fresno, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Oakland-San Francisco and Riverside-San Bernardino.