Thursday, February 21, 2013

Local Politics Support Group

This is a support group for those seeking to understand the politics going on in this city, county, and region. This is not an activist group, so it is okay if we don't all agree on things. It's more like a book club for reading the newspaper. Staying informed will help us to be better citizens of our democratic society.

We will be meeting on second and fourth Thursdays, at 7pm.

The format of the group is like this:

A potluck is served at a member's home. A facilitator is chosen. A guest speaker may be invited. Someone who is a news-maker: A politician, a leader of some kind.

Guest speakers so far:

Thursday, March 14 - Yousef Rabhi, Washtenaw county commissioner
Thursday, March 28 - Lawrence Kestenbaum, Washtenaw county clerk and register of deeds, and maintainer of

The guest speaker will give a talk. There will be a question period, during which the speaker is asked neutral questions of fact. Once there are no more questions, free discussion period begins, during which people are free to speak their minds, and give opinions to the guest and to each other. This might give the guest speaker an idea of how the community feels on these topics.

Next, the news discussion. Each member pitches a topic for discussion. Possibly something from an article they've read on local politics, or something based on original research. Once all the pitches are made, each person casts a secret ballot of two votes. The most popular two topics will be discussed (this is in the interest of time; if time runs short, we will at least have discussed the most popular topics).

For each topic, the person who proposed it gives a little presentation. Perhaps a summary of the article they read, or a summary of their original research. Then, a question period and a discussion period.

Discussion must be kept civil and constructive, especially in the event of a disagreement. Remember, this is not an action group, so it is not necessary that we come to decisions as a group. 

(also, see the facebook event:

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