Invitation

Dear
I am delighted to invite you to join me for an exciting social experiment -- a Living Room Conversation in which a small group of people come together to get to know one another, in a more meaningful way than usual, by talking about issues that are of personal priority and concern to each participant. What are your hopes for the future? What are you concerned about? Do you see ways we could improve our community or our country together? The conversation will include asking about each person's view of ______________________. The purpose is not to debate any issue but rather to be open and curious about all perspectives and see what we learn from one another.

Many of us find that we barely know people who have different political or ideological points of view than ours, and if we do, we often shy away from discussing uncomfortable topics. The folks at Living Room Conversations have come up with a great model to help us have respectful and productive conversations. We hope these conversations will build relationships that cross some divides, so that we can get to know one another and work together to find areas for collaboration in our communities that will lead to solutions for our families and country.

I will be a co- host along with my friend, _______________. We’ll be following the well-planned Living Room Conversations guidelines that focus on finding common ground to ensure success!
Please say “Yes” to be part of this pioneering conversation group.
Date:
Time:
Location:
Contact:

If you can’t attend this Living Room Conversation, please let me know if you would be interested in hosting, or participating in a gathering in the future.

Please RSVP directly to me @
If I don’t hear from you in the next few days, I will follow up with a phone call.

I am including a note from Joan Blades, co-founder of MoveOn.org, MomsRising.org, and co-creator of Living Room Conversations, which describes how the Living Room Conversation project idea was started and her history of seeking connection and cooperation despite political differences.

Thank you,

Dear Potential Living Room Conversation Participants:
I live in a community of people that I'm sure want this country to be a great place to live both now and in the future for our children and grandchildren. Yet when I watch our leaders and media, the focus seems to be primarily on our political differences. Some of us believe that the risks of climate change make it the most urgent issue that we must address together. Others believe it is our economy or big government that are the urgent issues to address. I find myself disheartened: doubting that our leaders have any idea of how to change the polarized game of politics and to make meaningful progress.While watching this sad game played on the national and local stages, I wonder if just maybe, common sense and respectful conversation within a community might result in more constructive understanding of our diverse perspectives and a more healthy approach to achieving the big goal that we all desire- a bright future for our communities and our children.Perhaps we could help lead the leaders out of this sad political bickering we find ourselves engaged in again and again, despite the earnest desire many have to find common ground. Perhaps here in our local communities with six people of good will who hold different viewpoints, we can begin to discover how we can have a meaningful conversation that will suggest how to exit this hall of mirrors. Locked in perpetual distrust and competitive bickering we render ourselves ineffective and fail to create that future we all desire.Thanks so much for considering this opportunity to show that people with different political views can have a rewarding conversation that starts about a divisive issue and ends with a sense of appreciation or even partnership and willingness to work together for a better future.--Joan Blades
Co-Founder of MoveOn.org and Co-Founder of MomsRising.org

Note:
The initial inspiration for MoveOn was in part about reaching across political divides. You could love or hate then President Bill Clinton and agree that the best thing for the country was to censure him and move on. MoveOn helped Republicans deliver MoveOn petitions to "Censure and MoveOn" to GOP headquarters. MoveOn's first petition was a huge success precisely because it was unifying. The impeachment disregarded average citizens’ desires and was one of many highly visible steps leading into the ugly polarized dynamics we now deal with. MoveOn did not become a partisan organization until after the election in ‘98 when it committed to help members engage in electoral action in 2000.