citizens agenda
What is a “Citizens Agenda” and how does it work?

Cascadia Daily News will put election issues in the hands of readers for the important upcoming midterm election, beginning with primary season and extending through General Election day, Nov. 8. Our coverage will follow two tracks:
  • Regular news stories and election updates in CDN’s news pages at and in our weekly print edition.
  • A separate, complementary project, CDN Citizens Agenda, that encourages reader-voters to “set the table” for election coverage by passing on their own answers to a simple question:
What do you want candidates to be talking about as they compete for votes?

The goal is to have you, the reader, establish the framework for election issues, rather than candidates relying on their own “talking points” or personal agendas. We’ve already begun collecting responses, and early interest has been strong. We will continue to accept them all the way up to the general election. But the sooner we get your chosen topics, the more we can shape our coverage in a way that interests you.

The Citizens Agenda strategy has been employed by many U.S. and Canadian media outlets over the past two decades, with favorable results; publications have consistently reported campaign coverage that’s more relatable and meaningful to readers, allowing them to make more informed election decisions by setting their own agenda for election coverage and avoiding rote candidate talking points.

What’s the process?

Once CDN has assembled readers’ submissions into a large list of most-requested topics, we’ll publish them in mid-August, asking readers to choose the five most important subjects. Armed with this information, CDN’s editor and reporters will put those chosen questions to candidates who participate in our endorsement process. We’ll also be asking the questions at public forums and other places to better focus of news reporting we do about the candidates.

What’s the incentive for candidates? If they don’t answer your questions, we’ll note that they declined to do so in our CDN Voter’s Guide, which will appear in October before the general election.

This process only works with mass participation. Send your answers to the above question to And watch for more information about the CDN Citizen’s Agenda on our website, in our print newspaper, and in editor Ron Judd’s column on the Opinion page as election day approaches.

Important dates:

Aug. 17: We will publish readers’ submissions online and in print with a form to fill out your top five subjects.
Aug. 26: Online and print forms are due.
Aug. 31: We will publish the five most important subjects online and in print.

If you’re willing to be interviewed by a reporter about your election-issue choices, let us know when you send your email. We’d like to include as many public voices as possible in our election stories.

Questions? Contact Ron Judd, executive editor, at