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The richness of our conversation depends on the number of voices that contribute to it.

Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero

The Power of Democracy Civic Learning Initiative

Three Chief Justices have prioritized outreach and civics in California by sponsoring the only statewide, three-branch assessment-turned-initiative focused on civics. The initiative has engaged state and federal courts, educators, and partners including the California Department of Education, the California Lawyers Foundation, and Teach Democracy. 

Initiative Leadership

The Power of Democracy Civic Learning Initiative is lead by two state court judges appointed to two-year terms by Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero. Their service terms are voluntary. Each is recognized for court outreach programming at their respective courts in addition to the state judicial branch.

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Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero

California Chief Justice


Justice Judith McConnell



Judge Julia Alloggiamento

Vice Lead

MARCH 2024 
Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero Announces Next Phase for Power of Democracy Civic Learning Initiative

The Judicial Branch's Power of Democracy Civic Learning Initiative aims to bring equity to civic learning county-by-county across the state in partnership with educators and community stakeholders. 

The Power of Democracy Timeline


Origin Summary:

A two-day summit convened by the Judicial Council in November 2006 focused California’s judicial leaders on ensuring judicial quality, impartiality, and accountability. These leaders concluded that unless the Judicial Council took decisive action, trends seen in other states would inevitably spread to California.


Summit participants identified four basic approaches to preserving the impartiality of and the public’s confidence in California’s judiciary: (1) changes to improve judicial candidate campaign conduct, (2) changes to improve the financing of judicial campaigns, *(3) activities to improve voter information about judicial candidates and public understanding of the role of the courts and the nature of judicial decisionmaking, and (4) modification of the current method of judicial selection and retention.


Chief Justice George thereafter established the 88-member commission divided into a steering committee and four separate task forces to study and report on each. Justice Judith McConnell was appointed Chair of the Public Information and Education Task Force (#3 above). The milestones of this timeline track how the judicial branch formed the Power of Democracy Civic Learning Initiative, with links to reports and other supporting resources.  

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