Voice of the People Action (VOPA) seeks to improve American democracy and rebuild public trust by giving “We the people” a greater voice in government. We urge elected officials to listen to and take into account the views of their constituents as a whole, especially as expressed in public consultations conducted with representative samples of their constituents.
Voice of the People Action’s vision is to give the people a permanent seat at the policymaking table and ensure that all Members of Congress understand the views of their constituents–as a whole–prior to votes on important legislation.
Voice of the People Action is encouraging congressional candidates to pledge that, if elected, they will take into account the views of their constituents as a whole when casting legislative votes.
Voice of the People Action is promoting the use of new technologies and methods for public consultation to enable Members of Congress to understand the views of their constituents as a whole.
Our sister organization, Voice of the People, along with universities and other nonpartisan civic organizations, have been conducting public consultations in states and districts across the country, and are ramping up to do more in 2024.
So – What is Public Consultation?
Thanks to technology unavailable to the Founders – who envisioned “We the People” having a real voice in policymaking – it is now possible to consult representative samples on legislative proposals using public consultation.
Citizens are briefed, evaluate pro and con arguments, and register their views. This process of public consultation enables you to better understand voters’ views, demonstrate you are listening, and build trust.
Public consultations go beyond the limitations of standard polls, by providing in-depth information and thus increasing the number of topics on which the public can meaningfully make recommendations.
Representative samples of voters go through a process in which they are briefed, and evaluate pro and con arguments before weighing-in on a policy issue. The goal is for citizens to be put in the shoes of a policymaker.
Representative samples are selected, using scientific methods, to reflect the demographics of the population, producing a microcosm of the district, state or nation.
Public consultations sometimes include forums (virtual or in-person) at which the findings of a public consultation survey are revealed, and Members of Congress and constituents who took the survey discuss the findings and the issues.
Town hall meetings can also be conducted with a representative sample who has been briefed on issues.