Making Democracy Work

photo Marybeth Falzareno

Team Chair:  Marybeth Falzareno: mmbbme@comcast.net

Regular meeting times are the second Wednesday of every month 6:16-8:15 pm in the LWVBAE office, 2530 San Pablo, Berkeley.

NEXT MEETING:  Temporary change of the usual time! Thursday, September 7, 6:15-8:15 pm

Finding common ground is the foundation of democracy. Our newest 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!

When? 2nd Wednesdays, 6:15 PM at League Office

Contact Marybeth Falzareno, mmbbme@comcast.net

Background

The Making Democracy Work Team formed in Spring 2017 recognizing the 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.

Some topics we are considering  are safety and justice, climate change, and wealth disparity.