Media

Our asset forfeiture laws are a mess, and they’re letting cops confiscate property. Left and right ought to agree on this one. “Don’t even bother getting a lawyer. The money always stays here.” That’s what the Tenaha Police Department told 27-year-old Arkansan James Morrow after they confiscated $3,900 from his car for “driving too close to the white line.” The police reported the “odor of burned marijuana,” though no drugs were found in the car. Morrow was carted off to jail, while the car was impounded. Read More...

When we treat mental illness and substance abuse as criminal offenses, our communities experience unintended consequences. People with mental illness and substance abuse issues do indeed break the law. Fearing them, we spend enormous amounts of money maintaining and staffing jails and prisons and building new ones. Although the cost of incarceration exceeds the cost of treatment, including education and rehab programs; the latter programs actually decrease recidivism. The state Assembly Bill 109, Read More...

Political polarization in the United States is not a Washington DC problem, it's an American people problem. But because it's a people problem, the ultimate solution lies with them, with us. This roundtable pulled together folks from left, right and center and came up a range of ideas on how to fix the culture in the long-term, and tactically make progress in DC now. In the end, we did find much common ground and everyone felt more hopeful that America could work as one people once again. You will Read More...

"When you combine the power dynamics involved, the media magnification of conflicts and the underlying influence of moneyed interests, it's difficult to imagine anything really changing between political opponents. Until, that is, you sit with them in your own living room, bedroom, kitchen or whatever space you happen to have available. Here's how it works: Two friends with differing views agree to co-host a conversation about a subject on which they disagree. Each co-host then invites two Read More...

Audrey Addison Williams, professional speaker, writer, spiritual leader, business consultant and expert in personal transformation and community empowerment Originally published in Huffington Post, 7/3/2013 I was raised in a Republican household; my dad was a paid speaker at Republican conferences and events. I grew up in the ‘60s and have vivid memories of vibrant, invigorating, loud, informative, respectful, intelligent, fun and life affirming political debate in our living room. Whites, Read More...

By Joan Blades -- On December 4, 2011, the Living Room Conversations Website went live and I co-hosted a demonstration Living Room Conversation gathering with my conservative partner Amanda Kathyrn Roman. I'm still feeling the glow. I expanded my understanding of where we might find common ground across party lines around reducing the influence of big money in politics, and people participating in the conversation expressed interest in a future Living Room Conversation about immigration. What a pleasure Read More...