Political Civility: Talking to People Who Disagree with You — a note from our chair

In the Library on Tuesday April 23, Meg Heubeck told a crowd of 25 or so, “We need to bring back the political center.” Director of educational outreach at the UVA Center for Politics, Heubeck held a training workshop for constructive conversations across party lines.  

Even though animosity has shrunk that center since the mid-1990s, Heubeck said, some 80 percent of us actually still identify somewhere between the extreme right and left. However, the 24-hour news cycle, and our tendency to look for information that confirms what we already think, locks us into a kind of hunter-gatherer political tribalism.  

But, said Heubeck, we can train ourselves out of it. “Remember that each of us loves our country, our community, and our families,” she said. And everyone has a voice. “That’s at the core, those American values. That’s what we’re protecting, even in a diverse community.” 

The friendly crowd of two dozen participants spanned the political spectrum from conservative to liberal, according to organizer Bob Burney. They broke into small problem-solving groups to test those voices. A simple question—what is the greatest challenge to the future of Rappahannock?—brought a gamut of answers and a prescription for positive citizenship.  

First, we need to get to know our neighbors. Ask them about their experiences. Learn how government works. Identify areas of similarity. Be prepared to compromise toward a consensus.  

“Bring your brain,” said Heubeck, “and be ready to be nice to people. Then listen with both ears.” 

Heubeck praised organizations like the National Institute for Civil Discourse, Unite America, No Labels, and Common Cause for bridging the political divide in America and bolstering its political center. For more information, contact Bob Burney, BurneyRG@me.com

–Mary-Sherman Willis, RCDC Chair

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I’m Running and It Starts Now – Tristan Shields for Delegate

Photo Caption: Tristan Shields performing at a Tim Kaine Rally, Nov 4

 

I’m running for Virginia Delegate in District 18 in 2019.

Here’s why: we can WIN.

Sunday evening I played rock n’ roll to a Democratic crowd of hundreds who knocked thousands of doors throughout Virginia’s 18th this campaign season. I felt the passion, energy and determination to make the blue wave a mid-term reality.

When I asked “Are you ready to keep it going in 2019?” the roar of the crowd was overwhelming. More energy and money has been spent in District 18 to get out the Democratic vote in the last two years than ever before. We must keep the momentum going.

The incredible transition from being afraid to talk to my neighbors about politics in 2016 to now seeing Democrat signs sprouting up all over the back roads of rural District 18 is just stunning.  WE CAN WIN in DISTRICT 18 if we keep this going.

I am asking once again for your support so together we can win the 18th and flip the House of Delegates blue. I’m not accepting money from corporate PACs.  I want and need grassroots support. No amount is too big or too small. Please join my campaign today.

I want to talk with every person who wants to speak with me and their friends and their friends’ friends. That means meet and greets, rallies, coffee meetups, karaoke parties, ice cream socials, high tea, low tea, middle tea (I’m not fluent in tea), whatever you think will help get out the vote, I’ll be there. So call/text at 540-216-2095 or email and let’s get started. — Tristan

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The Future is Rural – Galante for Delegate

Hi Rappahannock County Democrats,

I’m running to represent the 18th district in the Virginia House of Delegates.

I’ve spent a decade focused on exposing US adversaries in cyberspace, first for the Department of Defense and later for a private sector company called FireEye. And before all that, I came up through 4-H and spent most of my childhood and teenage weekends in rural Virginia judging livestock and poultry and showing sheep.

Since I started my business last year—Galante Strategies—work has taken me across the world and back to rural areas of Virginia and America. There is one jarring truth that keeps hitting me no matter where I go—our divisive politics are incredibly out of touch with how people want to live and work. 

I’ve spent months meeting with countless people across Fauquier, Culpeper, Warren, and Rappahannock counties, and I can report that common sense reigns, getting things done matters, and people don’t suffer fools easily.

Here’s what we should do next:

To do this, I’m going to be engaging people of all political persuasions, hosting roundtable discussions to dig deep into our district’s challenges and opportunities, and showing up everywhere–from fairs to churches, fire hall breakfasts to local businesses. It might sound old-fashioned, but it’s what politics should be again, and I’m putting every ounce of my heart into it. 

Your support would mean the world to me and will make the crucial difference in this early stage of the campaign. You are my angel investors!

Five ways to help:

  1. Join me for my first campaign event in Orlean, VA: Tuesday, Dec. 4, 6:30-8:30PM
  2. Kickstart my campaign with a donation.
  3. Spread the word about this practical, hardworking campaign that’s starting in rural Virginia
  4. Host a meet and greet: Nothing fancy. You invite your friends, and I’ll be there!
  5. Volunteer on the campaign: Like to research? Enjoy meeting people? Master of the digital world? I’d appreciate your help.

I would love to keep you in the loop as the campaign progresses. You can check out my campaign website: GalanteforDelegate.com, follow me on social media, and join my email list for updates. 

Thanks again, and cheers to joyful holiday season,

Laura
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Galante for Delegate
P.O. Box 1012
Marshall, VA 20116
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