The 2018 Citizens’ Statement

CIR Statement.JPG

Explanatory Note

This Citizens’ Statement on Question 1 was written by an independent panel of 20 Massachusetts voters through the 2018 Massachusetts Citizens’ Initiative Review. It includes information about Question 1 that the panel considered strong, reliable, and important for their fellow voters to know.

The Citizens' Initiative Review (CIR) system brings together a diverse group of voters to conduct an in-depth study of a ballot question and share their findings with their fellow voters. It originated in Oregon and has been used in that state's elections since 2011. The system is now being tested in Massachusetts to see if it will benefit voters in this state. It was first used in Massachusetts during 2016 when a CIR was convened to examine Question 4 on recreational marijuana legalization.

The 2018 Massachusetts CIR is being carried out through a partnership between the office of State Representative Jonathan Hecht, Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life, and Healthy Democracy, the organization that pioneered CIR in Oregon.

The panel of 20 was formed from a pool of 15,000 randomly selected Massachusetts voters using a scientific method to ensure it is representative of the overall population (based on place of residence, party affiliation, age, gender, educational attainment, and race and ethnicity). Over four days in September 2018, the panel heard from the campaigns supporting and opposing Question 1 and relevant policy experts, deliberated among themselves with the help of professional facilitators, and produced this Citizens' Statement.

The views expressed in the Citizens' Statement are solely those of the Massachusetts CIR panel. They are not the opinions or positions of Representative Hecht, Tisch College, Healthy Democracy, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, or any government agency.