Citizens’ Assemblies – Gender Equality & Local Government Reform

Posted July 8th, 2019

I brought the Citizens’ Assemblies Bill through the Seanad last week – it passed all stages. You can read my contribution below. The Bill will be before the Dáil this week.

The Citizens’ Assemblies Bill 2019 is a technical Bill to enable the register of electors to be used for selecting members of the citizens’ assemblies which the Government agreed on 11 June to establish. Two assemblies are being established, the Citizens’ Assembly 2019 and the Dublin Citizens’ Assembly.

The role of the Citizens’ Assembly will be to bring forward proposals to advance gender equality under a number of specific headings. The role of the Dublin Citizens’ Assembly will be to consider the best model of local government for Dublin and, in particular, the issue of a directly-elected mayor and his or her powers. These assemblies will operate under the aegis of the Department of the Taoiseach and will comprise a chairperson and 99 citizens selected randomly from local authorities’ registers of electors.

The same chairperson but a different selection of 99 persons from the Dublin local authorities’ registers of electors will make up the Dublin Citizens’ Assembly. The assemblies are to be run consecutively, commencing with the Citizens’ Assembly on gender equality at the end of October this year, and will take six months each to complete the work involved.

Continue reading here.