Discuss & Listen – Formal Meetings

NEXT MEETING: MONDAY, MAY 8, 2023, 5:20-6:30pm. We hold these meetings monthly on every second Monday at the Menifee Library. The meetings are fairly formal and organized, especially because we have only 1 hour there.

December 12, 2022 Menifee Library

There is never a hidden agenda. Everyone is welcome who is genuinely interested in understanding why people believe political ideas that are different from their own.

November 14, 2022 Menifee Library

We begin by allowing time for participants to share a snack and chat informally, to get to know each other a bit. The core leaders then facilitate a session where members discuss a political issue and really listen to others as they speak.

October 17, 2022 Menifee Library

One of our primary goals is for our members to practice speaking to their listeners about political issues in ways that are honest, yet respectful and polite. We suggest that, instead of citing statistics and facts as they see them, or quoting the commentators on MSNBC, FOX, or CNN, they should speak from their own personal experiences, or those of their family or close friends.

August 8, 2022 Menifee Library

We encourage members to picture their listener as a beloved elder relative or close childhood friend — someone they would never want to upset or offend. Likewise, we urge listeners to show that they are sincerely listening. After all, when you’re listening to someone share a traumatic personal event that is an underlying reason for their political opinions, it isn’t that hard to listen with a more open mind — in fact, it becomes pretty hard to mock, dismiss, or hate them.

July 11, 2022 Menifee Library

Our regular monthly meetings now have a set format: a 5-minute topic presentation, followed by 55 minutes of full-group discussion

May 2, 2022 Menifee Library

Our first meetings were online through Zoom in the fall of 2021. We sent links to folks for whom we had email addresses, and we depended heavily on slideshows to present information. Folks who attended were able to participate and discuss, and we are grateful that we were able to utilize this digital format.

September 25, 2021 online Zoom meeting

Purely Social Events!

While we are extremely grateful to our local library for allowing to use their terrific meeting space, we also want to provide opportunities for our members to hang out together for more than an hour! At our social events we can all relax, get to know each other better, and have some laughs! We may hold our socials at various places — a park, a member’s home, a restaurant. Our most recent event was a Holiday Potato Bar Party on Saturday, December 10, 2022, at the beautiful home of Lee and Donna Ervin, the fabulous co-chairs of our Social Committee.

The Ervins transformed transformed their home for eight days in October 2022 into a fantastical Haunted Walkthrough open to all, with a kick-off party on October 8th.

At least 25 kind, interesting neighbors from all over Menifee and beyond came to the Pasta Bar Social at the Ervins’ on September 17, 2022. Even more folks came to the Taco Bar Social on July 30, 2022, and stayed for hours. What an incredibly comfortable yet intriguing setting, from the candles in every nook and cranny, to the arcade machines, to the plentiful seating inside and out! Every guest, from age 19 to 82, felt immediately at home and welcome. The compliments just keep coming in on the friendly, peaceful, enjoyable atmosphere that surrounded everyone that evening. Sure, politics came up here and there, as we all got to know one another — but with genuine curiosity and mutual respect.

Our first social was November 6, 2021, at Spirit Park on Newport Road — our first in-person event of any kind, since the lockdown was still going on. It was so great to share an afternoon with folks we’d only met online before.

Nov. 6, 2021 Spirit Park, Menifee