Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

I just received notice of a Director of Citizen Engagement position from my friend Joe Goldman over at AmericaSpeaks. AmericaSpeaks has engaged thousands of citizens in large-scale projects on participatory budgeting, rebuilding New Orleans, the New York Listening to the City project, the arts, and health care in California just to name a few. The tools in their toolbox include keypad voting, online deliberation, research, community conversations and webcast meetings.

With an administration that is promoting transparency, participation and collaboration, this is an exciting time to be involved in citizen engagement. So send Joe a line if you are interested in working in D.C. with a dynamic organization doing important work!

Director of Citizen Engagement


The Director of Citizen Engagement will play a critical leadership position for AmericaSpeaks and its major citizen engagement initiatives. The Director of Citizen Engagement will be responsible for representing AmericaSpeaks with its clients and directing large project teams to develop, plan and carry out initiatives to engage the public in the policy making process.

AmericaSpeaks is a world leader in the field of citizen engagement and public deliberation. For more than a decade, AmericaSpeaks has helped citizens influence many of the most pressing issues facing the public, including the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site after 9/11, the creation of regional plans for the greater Chicago and Cleveland regions, and the development of a recovery plan for New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. AmericaSpeaks’ vision is to create a new institution that will link citizens to our nation’s policy making process. For more information about AmericaSpeaks, visit http://www.americaspeaks.org.

The Director of Citizen Engagement will report to the President of AmericaSpeaks. Salary will be commensurate with experience.

Duties and Responsibilities

Providing overall leadership for major citizen engagement initiatives independently or in conjunction with AmericaSpeaks’ President
Direct project teams for major citizen engagement initiatives
Represent AmericaSpeaks with current and prospective clients
Attract new projects and design new citizen engagement initiatives for AmericaSpeaks
Write foundation grant proposals to secure funds for citizen engagement initiatives
Lead the organization’s Citizen Engagement Cluster to develop AmericaSpeaks’ resources and infrastructure to support its programming
Exhibit leadership in the field of democracy reform and public deliberation through public speaking, networking, writing, presentations, and other efforts
Develop new innovations to increase the impact and reach of the organization’s citizen engagement efforts and to advance the field of practice
Forge new organizational partnerships, relationships and initiatives in order to support the organization in reaching its goal of creating new national mechanisms for linking citizen voice to governance

Knowledge and Skills Preferred for the Position

  • Must live in Washington, DC area
  • A commitment and passion for increasing the voice of citizens in policy making and realizing AmericaSpeaks vision
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Experience with directing large, complex campaigns or initiatives
  • Strong facilitation and program design skills
  • Significant experience with managing outreach and communications campaigns
  • Strong management skills
  • Willingness to adjust hours according to the demands of the job and travel
  • Proven ability to meet multiple deadlines and balance numerous projects while maintaining a perspective on long-term goals
  • Strategic thinking
  • At least 7 years of experience in the field of citizen engagement, conflict resolution, campaign management, community organizing, public affairs, urban planning, disaster recovery, or other related fields
  • Familiarity with new trends in online engagement tools is preferred
  • Familiarity with the field of deliberative democracy is preferred


Send application to Joe Goldman at jgoldman [at] americaspeaks [dot] org. Please include a resume and a letter describing why you are interested in this work, summarizing why you should be considered for this job, and identifying your salary history and current salary requirements. All attachments should be in PDF or Microsoft Word format and titled as follows “Lastname_Firstname_documentype”.

AmericaSpeaks is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage and value a diverse work force, and we seek diversity among applicants for this position.

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I am preparing a report on the activities of Texas Forums over the past six years. It’s a fun trip down memory lane and I will be posting tidbits here and in our newsletter over the next few weeks.

In the process of gathering evidence of our activities, I panicked because half of our photos were missing from our Flickr page! Then I realized that we had lost Pro status because of an expired credit card. Sigh!

So I’ve paid our Flickr debt and we are back up and running. Sorry if any of our missing photos caused any “link slippage”.

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[update: Kevin Koym link repaired. Who knew you needed that pesky little http:// thingy?]

We are mid-way through South by Southwest film, interactive and music conference and festival here in Austin. I personally just survived five days of SXSW Interactive also attended by several Texas Forums friends like Charles Knickerbocker, Bijoy Goswami, Kevin Koym, David Swedlow, Silona Bonewald, Sunni Brown, Terry Crain, and Jon Lebkowsky. You have two more days to catch the SXSW film festival, but if your budget is a bit strapped, here’s another FREE alternative at the LBJ Library:

Who: Public is invited to a Science Fiction Film Festival featuring the Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow – Free admission and free Amy’s Ice Creams*

What: Bring your dinner and a blanket, and enjoy music and a family-friendly classic drive-in style movie under the stars.**

Where: LBJ Library
2313 Red River
Free Parking

When: Friday, March 27th
5 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
– Tour the LBJ Library exhibit, To the Moon: The American Space Program in the 1960s, and receive a ticket for Amy’s Ice Creams – 4th floor, LBJ Library
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Enjoy music by the Rockit Scientists – real rocket scientists from the Johnson Space Center – LBJ Library Lawn
8 p.m. – Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Road Show presents “The War of the Worlds” (1953 version) – LBJ Library Lawn

Saturday, March 28th – Triple Feature Sci Fi Saturday
Inside LBJ Library – Third Floor Theater
10 a.m. – Alamo Drafthouse presents “Forbidden Planet”
1 p.m. – Alamo Drafthouse presents “When Worlds Collide”
3 p.m. – Alamo Drafthouse presents “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers”

Contact: Anne Wheeler
721-0216 or anne.wheeler@nara.gov

Websites: www.lbjlibrary.utexas.edu

(Austin) – The LBJ Library and Alamo Drafthouse are partnering to present music and a movie under the stars and a weekend of Sci-Fi movie adventures. All events are free and open to the public.

Enjoy the Library’s current exhibit, To the Moon: The American Space Program in the 1960s and an art show, Alan Bean: First Artist to Visit Another World.

*Advance tickets are available beginning March 18th at the LBJ Library from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily.
**No alcoholic beverages

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The Vice-Chancellor’s Office for Public Engagement at the University of Illinois will be hosting a Public Engagement and Technology Symposium on March 9. Since I will be in Illinois for my on-campus session with students in my online Community Engagement class, I’ve signed up to present the Texas Forums collaboration with E3 Alliance.

Just in case any of you are planning to be in Urbana-Champaign on March 9, here’s what you can expect from this gathering:

Your participation will provide faculty, staff, student, and community partners the opportunity to share innovative ideas and approaches to engagement activities in and outside the classroom.


Through a free flowing, open forum atmosphere, poster/resource table sessions, participant idea exchanges, 20-minute presentations and 50-minute panel discussions, participants will be engaged in the following themes:

  • Strategies in public engagement; Carnegie Community Engagement Classification Overview
  • Sustainability: Economic, Social, and Environmental
  • Dialogs with Communities
  • Learning through the Ages
  • New Ways with Technology

That “Dialogs with Communities” bullet dot is Texas Forums! Below is the description of the session I will be leading:

Texas Forums is a network of individuals and organizations that use dialogue and deliberation to tackle difficult community problems like health care and education. E3 Alliance, a regional collaborative to increase economic outcomes by aligning education systems in Central Texas worked with Texas Forums to develop community-led action plans to close the education gaps and increase economic outcomes for individuals and the region. As a research partner with the Kettering Foundation, E3 and Texas Forums adapted the National Issues Forums deliberative framework and developed a process to move people through a structured dialogue about potential strategies for closing the education gaps.

It will be a jam-packed day with over 70 sessions to choose from. HMMMM, wonder if we could do the same thing in Texas and partner with universities in Central Texas?

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To celebrate LBJ’s 100th birthday and the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11, the LBJ Library and Museum presents an important topic: Return to the Moon, a panel discussion on America’s next mission.

The panel will feature Alan Bean, artist, fourth man to walk on the moon and an artist whose works are on exhibit at the LBJ Library, and U.T. graduate; Lee Morin, astronaut; and NASA officials currently working on the moon project.

When: Tuesday, January 27, 2009 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Where: Frank Erwin Center, Lone Star Room
Cost: Free, open to the general public Tickets are required and will be available at LBJ Library beginning Jan. 20, 2009.


  • Alan Bean – artist, fourth man to walk on the moon, and U.T. Aerospace Engineering graduate
  • Lee Morin – astronaut, currently working on the cockpit of NASA’s newest spacecraft, the Crew Exploration Vehicle
  • Clinton Dorris – Deputy Project Manager for NASA’s Lunar Lander (Altair), Johnson Space Center
  • Matthew Leonard – Deputy Manager, Lunar Surface System Project Office, Johnson Space Center Moderator: Jeffrey A. Davis – EVA suit design for lunar missions, Johnson Space Center

Public reception to follow in the Great Hall at the LBJ Library.

Visit the Library’s exhibit, To the Moon: The American Space Program in the 1960s and the art show, Alan Bean: First Artist to Visit Another World.

Co-sponsors include: The University of Texas Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Department, Texas Space Grant Consortium, University of Texas Center for Space Research, and Southwest Airlines.

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On December 4, the LBJ Presidential Library released the last of the audio-taped conversations with President Johnson from May 1968 – January 1969, his last few months in office. The tapes begin with a conversation with Ted Sorenson asking him to convey his sorrow to the Kennedy family for the shooting of Robert Kennedy and President Johnson’s plans to provide special security for each Presidential candidate and their families. It ends on January 2, 1969 with his conversation with Russell Long from the LBJ Ranch in which President Johnson expressed concern that Senator Kennedy’s effort to replace Senator Long as the the Democratic WHIP would split the Democratic party.

1968 was a watershed year in American history, and the final months of President Johnson’s administration were filled with turbulence and crises. Here are some highlights:

  • discussions of the negotiations with the North Vietnamese at the Paris peace talks
  • the fight within the Democratic Party among the candidates for the presidential nomination
  • the decision on October 31, 1968–just days before the presidential election–to end all bombing of North Vietnam
  • the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy in June 1968
  • the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968
  • dissension and rioting at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago
  • the presidential campaigns of Hubert Humphrey, Richard Nixon, and George Wallace

These events come to life in the recordings of his telephone conversations.

Below is the CBS coverage of the release

Text of the CBS coverage of the release of President Johnson Tapes

Watch the CBS Coverage

LBJ Tapes Show Frustration Over Vietnam
WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2008

(CBS) New audio tapes were released Thursday from the final months of Lyndon Johnson’s presi-dency four decades ago. They reveal a leader wrestling with the Vietnam war – and very much in-volved in the 1968 presidential campaign, even after he decided not to run, CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante reports.

Forty years before Democrats nominated their first candidate of color, President Lyndon Johnson told 1968 presidential nominee Hubert Humphrey that he should pick a Japanese-American as his running mate.

It was Sen. Daniel Inouye, who was awarded a silver star in World War II, and who lost an arm in battle.

“He answers Vietnam with that empty sleeve. He answers your problems with Nixon with that empty sleeve. He has that brown face,” Johnson said.

Humphrey, though he was one of the Senate’s foremost liberals, balked.

“I guess maybe, it’s just taking me a little too far, too fast,” Humphrey said. “Old, conservative Humphrey.”

The Vietnam War was tearing the country apart. Democrats wanted their convention platform to call for a halt to U.S. bombing.

From his Texas ranch, Johnson – whose son-in-law was serving in Vietnam – told an aide “no way.”

“I’m telling ’em what our position is as Commander-in-Chief that I’m not about to stop this bombing unless they arrest me and take my power away from me,” he said. “Because I’ve got some of my own right there and I’m not gonna shoot ’em in the heart. Not for a bunch of goddamn draft dodg-ers.”

Johnson got his way, but the convention in Chicago was a disaster. He listened without comment as his attorney general, Ramsey Clark, blamed the police.

“It was a very disgusting moment in my judgment, Mr. President,” Clark said. “I think it was caused by law enforcement.”

But Johnson, who sympathized with Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, was having problems with his attorney general.

“Well, he doesn’t see this as you and I see it,” Johnson said

Daley argued that his police had been provoked.

“What are you gonna do if someone hits you with human manure in the face, are you gonna stand there?” Daley said.

Johnson did halt the bombing just before the election, which was extremely close. The morning af-ter, Humphrey called to apologize for losing.

“I’m sorry I let you down a little,” he said.

Johnson replied: “No you didn’t, no you didn’t, it’s on a lot of other folks but not you. It’s our own people in the party that created all the problems.”

Today’s tapes were the final release of Lyndon Johnson’s phone calls – recordings that have pro-vided an extraordinary insight into his presidency. Since LBJ, no politician has controlled the party so completely – and none is likely to do it ever again.

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New Social Inquiry is a brand new academic journal, but they aren’t just any academic journal. Right on the front page they claim that they will be a different kind of academic journal. They will be publishing social research essays and relative works that are accessible to a wide audience, engaging and relevant for non-specialists, yet sophisticated and complex enough to push scholarship forward.

If the look and feel of their web site is any indication, I believe that they WILL be a different kind of academic journal!

New Social Inquiry

(BTW, what the heck is that thingy called anyway? I can’t remember, but the first person to post answer as a response here will get an LBJ 100 coffee mug.)

Their first publication will focus on public dialogue. Hey, “public dialogue”? That’s something that the readers of this blog (all three of you-I’m not counting the “guy” from Russia who keeps making offers I can definitely refuse!) are interested in. Here’s an excerpt from the guidelines for submission:

Is there such a thing as public dialogue, now or in the past? If so, who participates, who leads, and what forms does it take? If not, how can it realistically be realized? What are the main challenges to
establishing/maintaining public dialogue? What are good examples of public dialogue working in the world today?
What is/are the relationship(s) between public dialogue(s) and social inquiry(ies)?

Shotgun essays should be no longer than 1000 words–we said “short”, and we mean it.

The deadline is January 19, 2009.

So I’m mulling article ideas. Wouldn’t it be exciting to be published in the very first publication? Anyone want to co-author? Any story angles we should explore?

For more information, check out: http://www.newsocialinquiry.org/

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On Sunday June 29, I will be traveling to Dayton, OH for a meeting with representatives of all 12 Presidential Libraries. We will be planning a series of National Issues Forums to take place in each of our libraries prior to the November election. Texas Forums will be hosting forums on Health Care at the LBJ Library on September 17 from 6-8 p.m.

Below is the press release for this upcoming meeting.

pres logo


From: Bob Daley, Diane Eisenberg, Mary Kring

Some 30 Representatives of the nation’s Presidential Libraries and the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) will gather in Dayton, Ohio, June 30-July 1 for a workshop designed to prepare for a series of forums in all 12 Presidential Libraries between Labor Day and Election Day this fall.

The workshop will introduce representatives of the Presidential Libraries to the philosophy of public deliberation and plans developed by the libraries’ representatives and NIF coordinators for the fall forums will be shared.

During the run-up to the presidential election, each of the Presidential Libraries will host a series of three forums with some Libraries hosting additional forums. Forums will be on a range of topics including health care, immigration, federal debt, education and energy.

All forums are free and open to the public.

“Hosting National Issues Forums at the Presidential Libraries is consistent with our emphasis on civic education,” Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States, said. “Presidential Libraries are public places and it is appropriate for citizens to engage in discussions about major public policy issues in the midst of a presidential campaign.”

“Participants in a forum,” NIFI chairman William Winter, said, “deliberate with one another eye-to-eye, face-to-face, exploring options, weighing others’ views, considering the costs and consequences of public policy decisions. In a democracy, citizens have a responsibility to make choices about how to solve problems and forums help enrich participants’ thinking on public issues. By offering citizens a framework for deliberative forums, NIFI helps the public take an active role in acting on public issues.”

The Presidential Libraries of the National Archives are not libraries in the usual sense. They are archives and museums, bringing together in one place the documents and artifacts of a President and his administration and presenting them to the public for study and discussion without regard for political considerations or affiliations. Presidential Libraries and Museums, like their holdings, belong to the American people. They promote understanding of the presidency and the American experience, preserving and providing access to historical materials, support research, and create interactive programs and exhibits that educate and inspire.

NIFI is a 25-year-old nonpartisan, nationwide network of locally sponsored forums for the consideration of public policy issues. Forums are rooted in the simple notion that citizens need to come together to reason and talk -to deliberate about common problems.

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For Immediate Release: June 12, 2008

* * * MEDIA ADVISORY * * *


logosAUSTIN, TX and SIMI VALLEY, CA – Mrs. Ronald Reagan, Lynda Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson have extended invitations to Senators John McCain and Barack Obama to speak at Town Hall meetings in July. These non-partisan meetings, to be held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California and at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin, will provide voters with an opportunity to hear the presumptive nominees discuss the issues together prior to the two National Conventions later this summer and the start of the traditional series of Presidential Debates in September and October of this year.

“The Reagan Library is honored to participate in this historic bi-partisan dialogue,” said former first lady Nancy Reagan. “Ronnie always believed in the importance of face-to-face discussion on key issues that affect the American people.”

“My father wanted the LBJ Library & Museum to always be a place where leaders of the day would come and deliberate the great issues of our time in order that we might better serve future generations,” said Luci Baines Johnson.

Lynda Johnson Robb stated, “In the bipartisan spirit of the presidential library system, my father would be proud of this opportunity for Americans to embrace a Scripture verse he quoted often, ‘Come, now, let us reason together.'”

These forums will be open to all media outlets. A respected, independent polling organization will be brought on to ensure that the audiences will represent a cross-section of the American people. Candidates will be given equal access to address key issues through audience questions.

More details will be announced at a later date.

About the Johnson Library:

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum houses 45 million pages of historical documents, 650,000 photos, one million feet of motion picture film, and 5,000 hours of recording from the public career of Lyndon Baines Johnson and those of his associates. The museum provides year-round public viewing of its permanent historical and cultural exhibits. President Johnson insisted that the library bearing his name exist for the people to visit free of charge.

About the Reagan Library:

Located in Simi Valley, California, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library houses over 55 million pages of Gubernatorial, Presidential and personal papers, an extraordinary collection of photographs and film, and over 100,000 gifts and artifacts chronicling the lives of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Home to Air Force One 27000, it now also serves as the final resting place of America’s 40th President.

Media Contacts:

Melissa Giller
Ronald Reagan Foundation
(805) 390-6405

Anne Wheeler
Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation
(512) 731-2351

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