Before the Election—2018

Conversation Guide

As the midterm elections approach, our national anxiety is ramping up. Countless voices clamor for our attention—our donations—our time—our votes. Headlines and news broadcasts present conflicting reports on issues, using their own facts to bolster specific views. Shrill ads play to our fears and overwhelm our senses. As we prepare to cast our ballots amidst all this noise, it can be difficult to connect our votes with our values. This conversation is an opportunity to share and reflect on our perspectives with others. It may be helpful in cutting through the clutter to best match our votes to our personal values and hopes for the future.

Background Information:

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.

Let's Get Started!

This Living Room Conversation flows through three rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.

Before You Begin...

Please go over the Conversation Agreements with your participants.

Introductions: Getting Started/
Why Are We Here?

What interested you or drew you to this conversation?

Round 1: Core Values

Answer one or more of the following:
  • What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are and what inspires you?
  • What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country?
 

Round 2:

Remember that the goal for this Living Room Conversation is for all of us to listen and learn about where we have different opinions and where we have shared interests, intentions and goals. Answer ​one or more of the following questions:
  • What is motivating you to vote this year?
  • What or who are you casting your vote to promote? To protect?
  • Where do you find news that you trust? Whose thoughts and opinions do you respect?
  • How have you made your voting decisions in the past? What’s been helpful this time?
  • What do you fear as a result of the election?
  • What do you hope for as a result of the election?

Round 3: Reflection & Next Steps

Answer ​one or more​ of the following questions:
  • In one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation?
  • What new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
  • Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
  • Name one important thing that was accomplished here.
  • Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

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Thank You!

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