font size - +
University of Nebraska Public Policy Center

By the People:
Dialogues in Democracy

October 14th, 2007
On the second Sunday in October 2007, NET Television, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Difficult Dialogues Initiative, University of Nebraska at Omaha Honors Program and the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center hosted a By the People Dialogues in Democracy deliberation on the UNO campus.

Omaha was one of eleven communities across the country that participated in the national By the People project this year – discussions on a variety of issues of importance to the country.

On October 14th, a sample of approximately 100 Omahans discussed immigration in Nebraska, and how the state should address this issue. Many states have considered legislation on a number of contentious immigration related issues. In 2006, Nebraska became one of ten states in the nation to pass legislation providing in-state tuition for qualified undocumented aliens. Omahans discussed this and related issues in small group discussions, and as well as with a plenary panel featuring a variety of Nebraska lawmakers.

A television special on the project will air later on NET Television.

For a brief background and discussion guide, please read the National Backgrounder and the Nebraska Backgrounder (both are PDF files ).

The Final Report of the event is available here in PDF form. Full video of the event is available here.

By the People is an innovative civic engagement initiative aimed at fostering discussion, linkages, and community involvement in a nationwide conversation about America’s role in the world and its relevance to local concerns.

Besides Omaha, other communities involved in By the People Dialogues in Democracy in October 2007 include Albuquerque, NM; Baton Rouge, LA; Bowling Green, OH; Cleveland, OH; Denver, CO; Houston, TX; Kansas City, MO; New Haven, CT; Rochester, NY; and Seattle, WA.

By the People is a partnership between PBS’ MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, local PBS affiliates, universities, community colleges, and civic groups across the nation.

Click here to learn more about By the People events.