From Divisions to Breakthroughs

We help communities create common ground solutions on complex issues, expanding what's politically possible while rebuilding the social fabric.

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Our mission is renew our systems of governance so Americans can go beyond politics as usual to create better futures on our biggest challenges.

Representatives from the Michigan Citizens' Panel on COVID, selected by civic lottery, that developed policies to move the state forward.

The American Public Trust is a non-partisan non-profit institution that supports cities, counties, and states in applying participatory, deliberative, and digital democracy methods to meet the challenges that matter most in their backyards.

These community-centered approaches go beyond typical politics to consider all involved, bridge divides, and create shared agendas for broad benefit.

We believe that by elevating the wisdom of everyday citizens and bringing new voices to public decision-making, we can move forward together.
Catalyzing Citizens' Assemblies in the US
Public Advocacy, Education,
& Storytelling
Practitioner Field Building

Citizens' Assemblies can Create Common Ground on the Toughest Challenges

When everyday people are given good conditions to hear each other and weigh all options, they can resolve intractable issues and help repair the social fabric in a community.

See it in Action: The Power of Community-led Democracy

Participatory approaches are increasingly called for as an antidote to the challenges facing democracy at all levels

A Practice Drawing on Indigenous and Ancient Roots

From the governance methods of the original Americans to those of Greek democracy, there is a deep history of dialogue and deliberation resolving complex issues and creating transformative common ground.

Foster Equal &
Equitable Voice
Activate Civic
Strengthen Community
Across Differences
Work with

Current Initiatives

Petaluma Fairgrounds
Advisory Panel
Fund for Scaling the
Deliberative Ecosystem
Public Speaking

Learn About Leading Democratic Innovations that can 'Unstuck' Even
the Most Polarizing Challenges

We host events, webinars, and trainings for public agency, government, and foundation leaders seeking to create more effective change on their most intractable issues.

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© 2022 The American Public Trust
The American Public Trust does not support or oppose candidates for public office or political parties.
We are a fiscally sponsored program of Commonweal, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.