Citizens should have a voice,
especially in trying times.

Citizens should have a voice, especially in trying times.

The Citizens' Panel on COVID-19 brought together everyday Americans to find common ground and point a way forward. They weighed expert testimony and made policy recommendations to guide the response to the pandemic.

The Panel was convened in Michigan, one of the states that most reflects our country's makeup as well as its deep divide.

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Read the report

In it panelists share their experience and present 12 policy recommendations directed toward municipal, county, and state government.

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A panel of the people

These citizen representatives came from all walks of life and reflected the population (see below). They brought with them different values, beliefs, and lived experiences.
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Schooling
  • Geography
  • Politics
  • Views

The Panel generally reflected the different ages in the population, although it was slightly more middle-aged than Michigan as a whole. More flexibility was afforded here than with gender, race, or people’s views on politics and coronavirus. This was based on the government’s 2019 census projections.

The Panel had an even gender balance of 15 men and 15 women, which accurately reflected the population. This was based on the government’s 2019 census projections.

The Panel closely reflected the proportions of different racial backgrounds of Michigan. This was based on the government’s 2019 census projections.

The Panel generally reflected the amount of schooling in the population, with a slight over-representation of those with some college or a degree. More flexibility was afforded here than with gender, race, or people’s views on politics and coronavirus. This was based on the government’s 2019 census projections.

The Panel generally reflected the geographic makeup of Michigan, with slight over-representation of regions with very small percentages of the population. These regions came from the government’s MI Safe Start Plan.

The Panel accurately reflected the political views of the population. This was based on Gallup’s State Ideological Identification data from 2018.

The Panel reflected the different levels of concern in Michigan regarding coronavirus, as well as people’s feelings about the Governor’s response to the outbreak. This was based on June 2020 Nationscape data from Democracy Fund’s Voter Study Group.

selected without
parties or campaigns

The Panel was selected through a democratic lottery (see video on right), to avoid the corruption, politicization, and disenfranchisement that characterize elections.
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that weighed expert testimony

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Speakers

  • Dr. May Darwish-Yassine, Chief Program Officer
    Michigan Public Health Institute
    mphi.org
    Masters in Epidemiology and Ph.D. in Epidemiologic Science
  • Tammy Clark, Executive Director
    Stand Up Michigan
    standupmichigan.com
    OSHA Certified Specialist at Tammy K. Clark Companies, LLC
  • Dr. Sarah Lyon-Callo, Director and State Epidemiologist
    Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

    Bureau of Epidemiology and Population Health michigan.gov/mdhhs
    Masters in Epidemiology and Ph.D. in Epidemiologic Science
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Speakers

  • Salli Pung, State Long Term Care Ombudsman
    State Long Term Care Ombudsmanmltcop.org
    Michigan Elder Justice Initiative meji.org
  • Michelle Roberts, Executive Director
    Disability Rights Michigandrmich.org
    Co-chair of the National Disability Rights Network Advocacy Work Group
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Speakers

  • Dr. Paul E. Kilgore, Senior Investigator
    Global Health Initiative of the Henry Ford Health Systemhenryford.co
    Also the Associate Professor & Director of Research
    Wayne State University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
  • Dr. Nigel Paneth, Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Pediatrics
    Michigan State Universityepi.msu.edu
    Doctor of Medicine and Masters of Public Health
  • Dr. Patricia Brown, Professor of Medicine
    Wayne State University Medical Schoolmed.wayne.edu
    Also the Associate Chief of Staff for Medicine
    John D. Dingell VA Medical Centerdetroit.va.gov
    Doctor of Medicine

Slides

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Speakers

  • Evan Anderson, Chief Strategist
    Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity
    michigan.gov/leo
  • Michele Evermore, Senior Policy Analyst
    National Employment Law Projectnelp.org

Speakers

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Speakers

  • Amanda Bright McClanahan – Chief Operating Officer
    Michigan Economic Development Corporation
    michiganbusiness.org

Slides

On Health

  • Diane Goddeeris, RN and Interim Executive Director of the Michigan Nurses Association
  • Melissa Boals, RN and Director at Large of the Michigan Nurses Association
  • Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association
  • Adam Eickmeyer, Expert on LGBTQ+ Health and Lecturer at the University of Michigan
  • Jackie Prokop, Policy Program Director at MI Department of Health and Human Services
  • Jo Murphy, Executive Director of the Michigan Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program
  • Stephen Kemp, Director of Kemp Funeral Home & Cremation Services

On the Economy

  • Robert Scott III, Great Lakes Region Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration 
  • Justin Winslow, President and CEO of the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association
  • Ryan Sebolt, Director of Government Affairs of the Michigan State AFL-CIO
  • Kevin Moore, President at Teamsters Local 299, Trustee at Teamsters Joint Council 43

On Education

  • Tanya Pitkin, Board of Directors of the Michigan Parent Teachers Association
  • David Hecker, President of American Federation of Teachers of Michigan
  • Daniel Hurley, CEO of the Michigan Association of State Universities
  • Mike Hansen, President of the Michigan Community College Association
  • Ben DeGrow, Director of Education Policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy
  • Dave Tebo, Superintendent of Hamilton Community Schools in Hamilton, Michigan
  • Mark Thomas, Principal of Northview High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan

On Public Policy

  • Michael Van Beek, Director of Research at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy
  • Eric Lupher, President of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan
  • Peter Ruark, Senior Policy Analyst at the Michigan League for Public Policy
  • Ron Armstrong, Co-Founder of Stand Up Michigan, Co-Chair of Unlock Michigan
  • Kelly Rose, Chief Housing Solutions Officer at MI State Housing Development Authority
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and found
common ground.

They didn’t all agree on everything, but these Americans from across the political spectrum worked together. They reached 70-90% agreement on the policy recommendations they developed. And many were transformed in the process.

Watch the
public release

Watch the
public release

So if you're ready to feel inspired for a change,
sign up to see the documentary
coming February 2021

So if you're ready to feel inspired for a change, sign up to see the documentary coming February 2021

Who was behind this?

This was an independent
non-partisan
initiative

The Citizens’ Panel on COVID-19 was organized and funded by a grassroots, non-partisan, non-profit called of by for. The Panel’s facilitated process was designed and overseen by Robin Harkless, a professional moderator who has facilitated similar citizens’ bodies in Oregon, Minnesota, California, and Arizona.

The democratic lottery was conducted in partnership with Panelot, a team of computer scientists from Harvard and Carnegie Mellon University.

Adam Cronkright

Co-Coordinator

George Zisiadis

Co-Coordinator

Robin Harkless

Lead Moderator

Austin Talley

Lead Producer

Olivia Talley

Assistant Producer

Jeff Hayes

Moderator

Becca Kearl

Moderator

Tina Patterson

Moderator

Lauren Rauch

Moderator

Rahmin Sarabi

Moderator Support

Payton Silket

Moderator

Ben Whiting

Moderator