A Public Voice 2018: Insights from Public Deliberations
When the Kettering Foundation organized the first A Public Voice in Washington, DC, in 1991, the objective was to bring together members of Congress, the press, and the public to reflect on what people across America had to say about key policy issues. The underlying premise of the briefing was that policymakers and journalists could benefit by hearing “a public voice”—not just the voices of pollsters, policy experts, and special-interest groups.
Kettering Foundation has held A Public Voice annually since 1991. A Public Voice 2018 brought together a panel of eight—four representatives each from the Washington policy community and the National Issues Forums network—and was streamed via Facebook Live to viewers across the country, some of whom weighed in with questions and comments as the conversation unfolded. This report for the Kettering Foundation by Scott London summarizes the conversation at the meeting and presents remarks by David Mathews, president of the Kettering Foundation, who closed by saying, “A Public Voice is about connecting a deliberative citizenry—one that is doing the work of making difficult choices—with our deliberative bodies here in Washington. My hope is that this can begin, at least in a small way, to address the corrosive loss of confidence and mutual distrust.”