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This month's newsletter features the following sections: Announcements, State of the Organization, Cogitations, and DL (Democratic Lottery) Roundup of articles, papers, and reports of interest. To see the accompanying graphics, be sure your email client or browser is set to display images. 

From the Editor

Welcome to the DWE newsletter. Your feedback and input is appreciated. Please send your responses to content and relevant links to articles, papers, and reports of interest, as well as proposals for "Cogitations" articles and other features to

DWE October Monthly Meeting

Tuesday, October 19, 9:00-10:00 PM Eastern (6:00-7:00 PM Pacific

Come a few minutes early and meet people informally
Zoom link: Meeting ID: 850 7146 2209; Passcode: 222831
Featuring a Presentation bOwen Shaffer:
Ireland: How to Use Citizens' Assemblies

The Republic of Ireland is at the forefront of using Citizens’ Assemblies to solve national issues. Starting from CAs, Ireland has enacted laws on abortion, marriage equality, blasphemy and parliamentary reform. There are 9 other issues that are in the works. Ireland could be the roadmap for the use of CAs in the United States.

Owen will discuss the CAs from Ireland with a focus on the abortion issue. He will use a set of PowerPoint slides that will be available for use by members and can be amended to make presentations to other groups and, ultimately, build the movement.


DWE October Board Meeting

Tuesday, October 5,⋅6:30-7:30 PM Eastern (3:30 – 4:30pm Pacific)
Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 899 6830 5867, Passcode: 995366

Democratic lottery selection for the Board of Directors


Meeting on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 07:30 PM Eastern Time.

Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 819 6514 8357, Passcode: 451588

We Practice What We Preach

The lottery for 3 seats on the Board of Directors is scheduled for Tuesday 12 October at 7:30pm Eastern. Directors generally serve staggered 18 month terms, so we hold a democratic lottery to replace those who are leaving.


DWE Slack: New Way to Connect

We have a new way for members to connect -- a Slack Channel! Join to discuss everything under the sun sortition-related, e.g.: ways to bring people together in a state (California is doing this); whether a lottery-selected shadow body has been used in parallel with a governing body; how member dues might work for the organization; etc. 

Here's a quick guide for using Slack: QUICK GUIDE.
Here's our Slack workspace invite: JOIN SLACK
Chris Forman leads the Slack Channel and can be reached at

Slack complements our existing Facebook group led by Nick Coccoma. 

  • We need a Cyber Security Consultant to advise the Webmaster on website security. So, if you have expertise in this area, and are willing to make yourself available on occasion, please contact Dave Tarby.
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Presentation on Lottery Selected Panels 

On September 23, Linn Davis (Healthy Democracy) and I traveled to Sacramento for the California League of Cities Conference, an annual gathering of mayors and city council members from across the state. We presented a workshop on Lottery Selected Panels as an out of the box technique to approach difficult municipal decisions. About 200 municipal government personnel attended the presentation. A League publication promoted the workshop this way: 

Many elected officials are seeking completely different approaches to decision-making as they want to pivot away from the “way we have always done things”. One novel idea that is gaining momentum is called policy juries or sortition, where randomly selected representative members of the community are empaneled to learn about a topic, hear expert testimony, consider public comment, and make a decision. While the members of the policy jury are selected randomly, there is a process to ensure the jury reflects the demographics of the community, meaning the juries can truly be a microcosm of their city.

After presenting the "why" and "how" of democratic panels, Linn and I were joined by Culver City Mayor Alex Fisch, Petaluma Councilman Dennis Pocekay, and city attorney Christi Hogin. Christi moderated a conversation, asking Mayor Fisch and Councilman Pocekay what dilemmas in their cities they'd consider lottery selected panels for, and what problems they anticipated. The entire group then fielded audience questions. 

For some months, Leonora Camner and I have been advocating for democratic panels with city officials in California through our non-profit, Public Access Democracy (formerly Random Access Democracy). The panels have relevance to a range of problems: housing, redistricting, police oversight, etc. The workshop is one result of our advocacy efforts. 

Many in the audience were hearing about lottery selected panels for the first time. A number were intrigued and enthusiastic about the promise of democratic lotteries in municipal government. Although we have won some converts, the road is long and we have yet to see the first municipal lottery selected panel in our state. Stay tuned.  
-- Wayne Liebman

Are you cogitating about something for the next newsletter? 
What's happening in your state?  Send articles/suggestions to:
Please submit suggested links for next month's roundup HERE.

Hannah Arendt Center 13th Annual Fall Conference

Thursday, October 14, 2021 – Friday, October 15, 2021


Presentation by Terry Hulsey
Sortition: The Nuclear Option of the Right

A link to this July DWE meeting presentation was previously omitted. 
From The Nation
Can “Lottocracy” Save Democracy From Itself?

Interview with Hélène Landemore
From DWE Facebook
The Tyranny of Merit

J. Rob Latham posts about Michael J. Sandel's foray into lottery
From the Hannah Arendt Center
Three Introductory Videos on Sortition
What are folk talking about on DWE slack
EducationResource guide for educators and Approaching Public Schools
EventsAmerica Talks Infrastructure. Did you go? How was it? Let us know!
NCarolinaDisbanded Citizen Advisory Committee could be replaced with CA?
Suggestions: Invite Helene Landmore to give a presentation! Who’s Helene Landmore?
Got something to add?  Join in!
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