Providing a nonpartisan model for generating and sharing          

    essential information on public issues and proposed solutions              

Shining a light on Minnesota public policy since 2005

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  About the Civic Caucus - The Need, the Purpose

The Civic Caucus is a prototype organization, demonstrating new ways to stimulate and maintain involvement of people in public affairs.   

The need for citizens to work together to learn, analyze and recommend solutions to critical public issues always has been a key part of the USA democratic process.   It is even more important today, because of widespread  polarization and paralysis in legislative bodies.

However, it is increasingly difficult for people to come together face-to-face.  Among the obstacles:  highly scheduled activities for families and other competing demands on time, expense of transportation,  homes and jobs in widely dispersed locations, difficulty in finding good meeting space, and even some antipathy toward attending meetings.

Aided by individuals with broad and deep experience in public affairs--extending well beyond a half-century for some participants--the non-partisan Civic Caucus has developed a new approach for more effective dialogue on public issues and for surfacing creative proposals for change.

The low-budget approach of the Civic Caucus has made it possible for large numbers of persons to study an issue, discuss different solutions, and arrive at consensus.   Some participants choose only to learn; others respond to questionnaires and offer their thoughts; some decide to be recorded in support--or opposition--to final recommendations. 

The Civic Caucus is based in Minnesota, and most of its recommendations are directed at decision-makers in Minnesota.    But the Civic Caucus process knows no boundaries.   We want to be helpful to any group looking for more effective ways to involve people.   Thus the process could be helpful to the Citizens League, League of Women Voters, chambers of commerce, for example, in Minnesota, and to other groups elsewhere in the nation.

Key elements of the Civic Caucus approach:

1.  A core group of about 12 persons, some of whom do come together face-to-face every week and some of whom participate via conference call.

2.  A much larger group--now about 1,000 persons, but theoretically without limit on size--that participates electronically.  

3.  A focused agenda, taking up one major issue at a time.  Before issues are selected, core participants and electronic participants are polled for their suggestions.

4.  An intensive learning process, spread over three months or more, during which thought leaders, individually,  are invited to meet with the core group.  Detailed summaries are prepared and circulated via email to all core and electronic participants.   Participants are encouraged to suggest new areas of inquiry and questions to be raised and are urged to share their thoughts on what they have seen. 

5.  Following the learning process, the  Civic Caucus prepares memos that summarize the interview summaries, and outline options for change that then are discussed.  Ultimately a preferred option is selected.

6.  Core and electronic participants are invited to be listed as supporters. 


The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Interview Group  includes persons of varying political persuasions,
reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

  John S. Adams,  David Broden,  Audrey Clay,  Janis Clay (executive director),  Pat Davies,  Paul Gilje, Dwight Johnson,  Randy Johnson,  Sallie Kemper,  Ted Kolderie,
 Dan Loritz,  Tim McDonald,  Bruce Mooty,  Jim Olson,  Paul Ostrow (chair),  Wayne Popham,  Dana Schroeder,  Clarence Shallbetter,  and Fred Zimmerman

The Civic Caucus,  01-01-2008
2104 Girard Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55405.

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