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Communication arts prof to address communities across state about voter initiatives

Professor Jackson Miller is a featured guest with Oregon’s Conversation Project, joining some of the state’s most respected humanities scholars to facilitate community conversations across the state.

“Oregonians participate in the political ritual of voting on citizen initiatives with more frequency and, at times, more enthusiasm than any other group of citizens in the U.S.,” says Miller.

“Over the past century, Oregon has had more statewide citizen-generated ballot measures than any other state, and, as a result, ‘direct democracy’ has dramatically transformed the state’s political and social landscape,” he says.

Miller will present “The Voters Have Spoken: Oregon’s Controversial Ballot Initiatives,” leading community conversations about the role of persuasion and communication in the political process, focusing on issues raised by Oregon ballot measures over the past 15 years. Hot button topics include abortion, education, gay rights, land use, marijuana, medical liability, obscenity, physician-assisted suicide, taxes and timber.

Professor Miller has conducted extensive research on the ballot initiative process in Oregon. In 2008, he wrote and directed the play “82,769 Signatures,” which focuses on five controversial ballot initiatives.

Miller is an associate professor of communication arts and the director of forensics (speech and debate) at Linfield.