Money in Politics
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Is there a problem with money influencing our elections and then influencing the actions of elected officials? And if so, are there solutions that we can all agree upon? Increasing numbers express concern at the influence of big money in elections, especially since the supreme court’s Citizens United ruling in 2010, which allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on our elections. From another perspective, money was always heavily involved in elections — and the voice of everyone in America (including leaders of corporations) should not be restricted in the free marketplace of ideas. What do you think?
Let's Get Started!
Why We're Here (~10 min)
Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.
How We'll Engage (~5 min)
These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud. (Click here for the full conversation agreements.)
- Be curious and listen to understand.
- Show respect and suspend judgment.
- Note any common ground as well as any differences.
- Be authentic and welcome that from others.
- Be purposeful and to the point.
- Own and guide the conversation.
What We’ll Talk About
Optional: a participant can keep track of time and gently let people know when their time has elapsed.
Getting to Know Each Other (~10 min)
Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:
- 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?
What are your thoughts on Money in Politics? (~40 min)
One participant can volunteer to read the paragraph at the top of the web page.
Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. The group may choose to have everyone answer: A) whichever question speaks to them individually or B) the same question with an option to pass. Once everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for any clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring with other topic or related questions as time allows.
- When it comes to money in politics, what is your primary concern right now?
- Do you see money in politics influencing elected officials and policy makers? What specific stories can you share?
- What in your life has been affected by money in politics?
- What would you like to see happen about money in politics?
- Where is the issue of money in politics on your top 10 list?
Reflecting on the Conversation (~15 min)
Take 2 minutes to answer one 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?