Common Sense for Oregon wins Swiss honor

Common Sense For Oregon Executive Director Ross Day Honored by Invitation to Swiss Election and Direct Democracy Tour
By Common Sense for Oregon,

Salem, OR- Ross Day, executive director and general counsel for Common Sense For Oregon, has been invited by the government of Switzerland to observe initiative and referendum elections on June 13th, 2010. Day is one of 13 Americans invited to go on the tour, which is hosted by the Initiative and Referendum Institute of Europe. “I am very excited about this opportunity, and honored to be one of 13 Americans chosen for this trip,” said Day, “Switzerland has been a pioneer in the use of initiatives and referenda, and I am looking forward to learning more about how Switzerland has modernized its initiative and referendum process.”

Day was selected for the tour based on his “[E]xtensive background in the field of initiatives and referendums, as well as your excellence in promoting citizen friendly solutions…” In addition to observing the national election on the 13th, Day will also meet with local and state officials to learn about the Swiss initiative and referendum process.“Like Oregon, the Swiss consider their initiative and referendum process a part of their ‘political DNA’, it will be interesting to compare how the process is viewed in Switzerland as compared to Oregon,” said Day.

Day will be providing updates on his tour via Common Sense For Oregon’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Day leaves for Switzerland on Tuesday, June 8th and returns on Wednesday, June 16th.

Common Sense For Oregon is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting transparency in government, ensuring government accountability, and protecting Oregon’s initiative and referendum process.

Copy of Official Invitation:

From: Prinz Pascal EDA PPC
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 2:10 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Invitation – Study Trip to Switzerland, June 10 – 15, 2010
Importance: High

Dear Mr. Day:

We are contacting you on behalf of the Swiss Confederation to cordially invite you to participate in an upcoming study briefing tour to Switzerland highlighting the Procedures and Practices of Modern Direct Democracy, from June 10 – 15, 2010.

This exclusive trip offers twelve carefully selected participants from US academia, government, media and the private sector the unique opportunity to get a first hand experience of the practical use of the initiative and referendum process in Europe. Switzerland was the inspiration for American reformers who a century ago introduced initiative and referendum across the United States. Here the Swiss continue to use the initiative and the referendum on all political levels, fine-tuning the process to respond to new challenges. On this tour you will meet some of the most experienced I&R practitioners in the world, and see and experience direct democracy first hand. You’ll also learn more about the future of direct democracy in Europe, which is in the process of establishing the world’s first transnational direct democracy procedure — the European Citizens’ Initiative.

Your extensive background in the field of initiatives and referendums, as well as your excellence in promoting citizens friendly solutions make you an excellent candidate in our efforts to connect the dots between Switzerland and North America in the important realm of modern direct democracy. We would be honored if you accepted our invitation. Please find the program, registration form and all information enclosed. We kindly ask you to RSVP by Friday, April 30, 2010.

With my best regards,

Pascal Prinz

Program Manager USA Presence Switzerland

Embassy of Switzerland
Communications and Cultural Affairs
2900 Cathedral Ave, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008