Team Chair: Marybeth Falzareno: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check the League calendar for meeting times.
We meet at the LWVBAE office, 2530 San Pablo, Suite F, Berkeley. [Sierra Club and Ecology Center are at the front of the building; our office is in the back hallway.]
Democracy requires collaboration. Our newly renamed CivilTalk Team: Making Democracy Work is researching several different methods of structured civil discourse on controversial topics. We have been researching and getting training on methods developed by other experienced groups. We are evaluating these methods and selecting a few to learn, practice, and teach to other Leaguers and other community groups and members.
The CivilTalk Team is determined to demonstrate and teach some of the best formats we have learned and tested. We even have some models ready for you to learn, practice and use.
During elections, voters need to be able to discuss benefits and drawbacks of complex choices safely and pragmatically.
When communities are strongly divided on civic issues, they need to discuss the issues and make decisions that community members with opposing views will accept and support.
Topics we are considering are safety and justice, climate change, and wealth disparity.
Finding common ground is the foundation of democracy. Our new team builds bridges for civil conversations, benefiting organizers and participants willing to listen non-defensively and dig deeper.
Step outside your comfort zone. Come by to help research, experience and compare methods; we’ll develop ways to reproduce best practices for creating and monitoring structured, respectful dialogues with favorite topics!
The CivilTalk Team initially formed as the Making Democracy Work Team in Spring 2017, recognizing the urgent need to have more civil discussions with people outside our normal sphere. To seek commonalities rather than simply stating our opinions.
Our long term goals are to help:
- Return to respectful communication in public discourse
- Return to finding common ground rather than domination
- Improve the mental health of the community
- Move away from the polarity of parties
We have connected with the National Issues Forum who have an expertise in convening and facilitating forums for deliberation, seeking commonality among diverse participants. So they can provide the “nuts and bolts” of how to do such a forum. We in the League want to engage all community members in democracy. It is a beginning partnership but holds much promise.