Hamline University and Professor David Schultz Select Red Wing and Willmar, MN as First Citizen Assemblies Sites

“At a time when the federal government and many state governments are polarized and often unable to act, local government is one of the only places where citizens still can have a meaningful voice,”

Hamline University and Hamline political science professor David Schultz, noted expert on elections, politics, and public policy, announced today the selection of Red Wing, Minnesota and Willmar, Minnesota as the first two Minnesota cities which will host a unique new effort called Citizen Assemblies. Citizen Assemblies will engage residents in local government by giving them the tools and education to help develop policy recommendations for electoral reform in their own communities.

Funded by grants totally nearly $500,000 from the Joyce Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Professor Schultz and Hamline University will convene a total of three Citizen Assemblies across Minnesota that will educate and empower citizens to envision the type of local government that they believe will best serve the greater good. Both Red Wing and Willmar were chosen for their unique demographics and local community interest in the project. The subsequent city will also be selected on the basis of its complex political and demographic environments.

“At a time when the federal government and many state governments are polarized and often unable to act, local government is one of the only places where citizens still can have a meaningful voice,” Schultz said. “At the same time, many communities are experiencing significant demographic and economic changes, which aren’t always reflected in the officials that are elected to represent them. We will work with a demographically-representative group of residents to get first-hand insight into what…

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