Working for Citizens' Assemblies Aotearoa New Zealand
Preliminary ideas for first steps
We could do with a good simple logo to symbolise a citizens’ assembly. Any ideas.
We need a form of invitation to send out asking folk to join the list of those willing to take part in an assembly on climate change, if chosen. I was thinking of a flyer of some kind that can be popped into letter boxes. It would need to contain information of what on earth a citizens’ assembly actually is, with pointers to further information, perhaps on-line. It would need to indicate what sort of a time commitment would be needed, maybe three or four weekends spread over a number of months. Would saying that participants would be paid an honorarium per session (how much would be reasonable?) and also paid their expenses to get to the venue and fed and watered during the sessions to help removing obstacles to folk getting on-board? Anybody know someone with the skills to design an invitation?
Once we have a suitable general purpose invitation we could start creating and working through random lists of registered voters, delivering the invitation and later chasing up responses by knocking on doors. There will probably be considerable inertia to start with, until what is afoot becomes more widely known. If each parliamentary constituency, or group of adjacent constituencies, has enough members of Citizens’ Assemblies Aotearoa the recruitment of potential participants in assemblies should be doable.
When we reach a couple of dozen members, we should draft a slightly more formal set of aims and rules, and appoint the appropriate number of officers so that we can open a bank account and start looking for funds. Experience elsewhere suggests we will need maybe $500,000 or more for a set of assemblies say at two centres in the North Island and two in the South Island.