Hello from XR Manchester

Hi, I am Maria, from XR Manchester, I would like to know about starting a local CA.
I am also at XR International, and involved in XR Madrid and XR Galiza (coord.). Hence, everything I learn I can share and spread through these locations.

Hi Maria!

I’m Ayesha from Sortition Foundation and XR Citizens Assembly Working Group.

As you’ve probably seen, we produced a basic guide to CAs which might be handy for informing those around you too.

Citizens’ assemblies, as meant by the current terminology, take place over an extended period of time, are expensive to run and are by no means the only way to get deliberation into the community conversation. Whilst XR is calling for a National Citizens’ Assembly to address the climate emergency, they are not necessarily recommended by XR Citizens’ Assembly Working Group at the local level. The funding isn’t usually available at this level to do the process properly – to allow for decent financial compensation for those chosen (this helps you get a more diverse group), facilities at the venue (like childcare), the unconscious bias training of all participants, presentation from experts and stakeholders on all aspects of the issues, and time to deeply deliberate, including time away (so deliberation time broken up into several sessions to allow things to sink in).

And for a topic as wide as the climate emergency, the scope is vast indeed!

This page has a lot of links you might find interesting. https://rebellion.earth/2019/05/30/xrs-position-on-local-regional-citizens-assemblies/ It also has a lot of links to other participatory methods which might be more suited and be more useful in getting some real and meaningful action from the local authorities.

I’ll upload and post a link to a useful ‘framing the question’ document too which might be helpful.

Something else that might be useful is to look at what the result has been of other local authority CAs. Let me know if you want to see any of these, we at least have Camden’s one. The outcome wasn’t bold to say the least.

One of our members suggested that councils could begin by checking their pension schemes etc and divesting from fossil fuels right now, no deliberation needed, they just need the will to do something.

I’d love to hear about your experiences, so do keep in touch! If there is anything you think we can help with, just let us know.

All the best,