united or divided?

Talking about . . . united or divided? where do we go from here? 

PoliticalParty_DividedStates.pngThe last few presidential elections have revealed a deep desire for change in our country. Yet, this desire for change has been accompanied by increasing divisiveness about which changes are most urgent, how to achieve them, and the roles and limitations of government, businesses, and nonprofit and faith organizations in realizing them. The 2016 presidential election has galvanized many people (and in particular, women) to engage in civic action for the first time, with the result of both empowering and polarizing individuals and communities. In light of this need and opportunity, we have crafted the following Living Room Conversation with the intention of gathering individuals from a variety of political viewpoints to discuss their hopes and dreams, and to discuss what a common agenda for change would look like.  We imagine this as a "transpartisan" agenda that represents all sides of the political spectrum and makes explicit the fact that a wide range of opinions fall within and between the traditional labels of "Republican" and "Democrat."

Click here if you would like a pdf of the following topic material to share with your cohost and friends.

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Background reading (optional)

While you don't need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic. 

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Want to listen to an actual Living Room Conversation?

Check out our listings on LRC Radio

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women and political leadership

Talking about . . . women and political leadership

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As of 2016, women comprise just 19 percent of the US Congress and hold only five governorships. Why do we have so few women in political office and do we care? Some individuals and organizations believe that having women’s voices in the mix is crucial to represent the needs of women and families. Some of these organizations seek out and encourage women to run for office, others want parity to happen naturally or raise cautions about erasing any gender distinctions in an attempt to "make everything the same." 

Are there ways that bi-partisan expansion of women in political leadership might complement traditional structures in society? Are women or men more productive and more likely to work collaboratively?

Click here if you would like a pdf of the following topic material to share with your cohost and friends.

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Background reading (optional)

While you don't need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Check out this from Pew Research Center or Ignite about women in politics.

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Want to listen to an actual Living Room Conversation?

Check out other topics on LRC Radio

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ranked choice voting

Talking about . . . ranked choice voting

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Most of us want the healthiest democracy we can design.  Are our current voting systems producing the best outcomes for citizens?

Some people believe that ranked choice voting produces an outcome more reflective of the majority of citizen’s wishes.  It has also been argued that ranked choice voting can reduce negative campaigning, allows voters more choices and saves money.   Are our democratic processes serving us well?

Click here if you would like a pdf of the following topic material to share with your cohost and friends.

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Background reading (optional)

While you don't need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. You can read more about ranked choice voting here and here.

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Want to listen to an actual Living Room Conversation?

Check out our listings on LRC Radio.

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post election: what's next?

Talking about . . . what's next after the election?

The presidential election brought attention to our political system…and our differences. Now we need to restore relationships around our shared hopes and dreams and get our country focused on the work of governing. But how exactly will we do this?  This conversation allows us to start exploring ‘what’s next?’. Whether we feel elated or defeated, whatever our differences - let's insist on finding the deeper unities we can rest upon and defend. Generosity. Goodness. Kindness. Freedom. Respect.

Click here if you would like a pdf of the following topic material to share with your cohost and friends.

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Background reading (optional)

While you don't need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic. 

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Want to listen to an actual Living Room Conversation?

Check out LRC Radio

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trans pacific partnership

Talking about . . . Trade Agreements, Jobs, Free Markets and the TPP

 

Have you heard about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)?  Most folks who know about the agreement have some pretty strong feelings about it one way or the other!

The Obama Administration says that this trade agreement “will boost U.S. economic growth, support American jobs, and grow Made-in-America exports to some of the most dynamic and fastest growing countries in the world.” The agreement appears to have much support in both parties. Yet critics are complaining about the secrecy around both the negotiations and terms of the agreement as well as expressing concerns that the TPP will ultimately hurt American workers. What do you think?

Click here if you would like a pdf of the following topic material to share with your cohost and friends.

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Background reading (optional)

While you don't need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic. 

. . . .

Want to listen to an actual Living Room Conversation?

Check out our listings on LRC Radio

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guns and responsibility

Talking about . . . guns and responsibility

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We all care about the victims of gun violence. We all love our children and our family. We all want children to arrive home safely at the end of the day. We have seen tragedy in our communities and want that to end. Let’s start with this as a given. This conversation focuses on our own personal experience with guns, gun safety and our beliefs about the balance between constitutional right and common good. This is a conversation about our hopes and concerns with a diverse set of community members in order to develop a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges surrounding responsible gun ownership.

Click here if you would like a pdf of the following topic material to share with your cohost and friends.

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Background reading (optional)

While you don't need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic. 

. . . .

Want to listen to an actual Living Room Conversation?

Check out our listings on LRC Radio

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privacy and security

Talking about . . . privacy and security

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With recent revelations about the extent of data collection by the government and private companies, we have heard many concerns about both national security and the lack of privacy we have online. For every person raising alarm at information being collected by the government, it seems someone else is pointing out the value of this information in protecting our nation from terrorism. With all the back and forth, it's hard to know how to feel or what to think. In this conversation, we hope you'll explore where you feel comfortable and listen to the concerns of others. Where do we have common ground? And what, perhaps, are meaningful differences that remain?

Click here if you would like a pdf of the following topic material to share with your cohost and friends.

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Background reading (optional)

While you don't need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic. 

. . . .

Want to listen to an actual Living Room Conversation?

Check out our listings on LRC Radio. 

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free speech

Your free speech is driving me crazy!

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When are limitations on free speech justified in America?

With the advance of technology, it is easy to connect with our friends, blast our thoughts and feelings to our followers and practice free speech. In this era of “connected all the time”, we long to feel safe, while at the same time we are exposed via social media.

How can we best protect free speech? How do we distinguish between disagreement, bullying and hate speech? Are there areas of common ground to be found?

Click here if you would like a pdf of the following topic material to share with your cohost and friends.

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While you don't need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic. 

. . . .

Want to listen to an actual Living Room Conversation?

Check out our listings on LRC Radio

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guaranteed national income

Talking about . . . guaranteed national income

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What would happen if we had a National Basic Income (NBI)? Every citizen of the country is guaranteed to receive money, regardless of circumstances. This idea has been around for a few decades as a potential solution to ending poverty.  It has also been championed as a way to reduce social programs and government bureaucracy. In the spring of 2016, Switzerland voted down a referendum on this, but Finland is drafting a plan which will be presented via referendum in late 2016. While some fear automation will shrink available jobs, others see NBI as a way to stimulate the economy.  We invite you to engage in a little dreaming about what our future could be.

Click here if you would like a pdf of the following topic material to share with your cohost and friends.

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Background reading (optional)

While you don't need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic. 

. . . .

Want to listen to an actual Living Room Conversation?

Check out our listings on LRC Radio

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crony capitalism

Talking about . . . crony capitalism

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Cronyism is a term describing an economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, etc. Cronyism is believed to arise when political cronyism spills over into the business world; self-serving friendships and family ties between businessmen and the government influence the economy and society to the extent that it corrupts public-serving economic and political ideals. Crony capitalism is a term describing an economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials.

Click here if you would like a pdf of the following topic material to share with your cohost and friends.

. . . .

Background reading (optional)

While you don't need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic. 

. . . .

Want to listen to an actual Living Room Conversation?

Check out our listings on LRC Radio

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