While currently inactive, the Citizen Counselor Network was created to enhance citizen participation, civic engagement, and citizenship education in government through a network of periodic public forums where people gather in small groups throughout the county to discuss current issues and provide important feedback to county government and other public officials. The program is designed to be operated by independent King County residents under the supervision of the King County Auditor and is prohibited from using public funds for its operations.
Through its unanimous adoption of Ordinance 15896 (pdf), the King County Council created Countywide Community Forums in late 2007. The ordinance was previously King County Initiative 24, sponsored by Richard (Dick) J. Spady, co-founder of Seattle’s Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants. The program is based on a model developed principally by Dick Spady who is also president of the Forum Foundation (external link).
The entire program is funded through voluntary donations. In 2011, Mr. Spady, the main funder of the program, decided to support an approach to community engagement that was not connected to King County. Without funding and management, the Countywide Community Forums program is currently inactive.
An evaluation of the program was conducted in 2012.