Creating opportunities for people with
diverse opinions and perspectives to engage in
productive, respectful discussion.

The Pledge

“I pledge to discuss challenging
community issues with thoughtfulness,
to treat people whose opinions differ
from mine with respect, and to focus
on ideas, policies, and solutions.
I will encourage others to do the same.
I will speak up and publicly object
when I hear name-calling, stereotypes,
disparaging comments and slurs.
I will do this because our community’s
health and social well-being
is important to me and I know that we
cannot effectively deal with
challenging problems without
these commitments.”

Who we are

We are community residents who believe that the path to healthy and vibrant communities and solution-oriented, constructive problem-solving about challenging issues requires a commitment to thoughtful, respectful dialogue among individuals with diverse opinions.

Whether it’s about our schools, infrastructure projects, affordable housing, or any controversy that will emerge in our neighborhoods, we want to encourage and facilitate opportunities for civil and constructive community dialog. We believe that the way in which conflict is managed can either be destructive or can build a healthier, more resilient future.


Who’s Signed

Organizational Endorsements
The Town Council of San Anselmo  –  September 26, 2017
The Fairfax Town Council  –  October 4, 2017
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Youth Group  –  October 30, 2017
Mill Valley School District  –  November 13, 2017


First Name:Last Name:Title:Town:State:
Leo Krashanoff Consultant San Anselmo CA
Bob Lewis Novato CA
Katie Wigington REALTOR Novato CA
tiago santos administrator administrator AL
Thomas Engdahl Executive Novato CA
ria van ornum artist novato CA
Robin Diederich Novato CA
maryellen okeary RN novato CA
Dale Hirt Service Engineer Kenmore WA
Jaime Kelly RN, PHN, School Nurse Corte Madera CA
Joe Martini Teacher Mill Valley CA
Ron Cavalin Coeurdalene ----
Bob Raines School District Superintendent Tomales CA
Angela Kriesler Elementary School Principal Novato CA
Laurie Filsinger Sugar Hill GA
Ericka Omena Erickson Education Administrator, Consultant Novato CA
Tara Ordonez Teacher Mill Valley CA
Jim Collier CTO Fairfax CA
Christine Berg Parent Mill Valley CA
Teresa Walker Teacher San Anselmo CA
Colleen Donaldson Parent Mill Valley CA
Trisha Garlock Mill Valley CA
Stella Ocker San Anselmo CA
Bernard Franks Member New Port Richey FL
Sam Sullivan-Moore Student Knoxville TN
OLIVIA NEville Student Fairfax CA
Kate Christie Student San Anselmo CA
Reynolds Sullivan Actor New york NY
Tai Soladay Former Drake Student / ASB President Woodacre CA
Denali Gillaspie Educator Oakland CA
Jacqueline Jaffee Tiburon CA
Laura Garroway Myers Principal Mill Valley CA
Marc Vendetti President, Marin Museum of Bicycling Fairfax CA
June Jackson San Francisco CA
Matt Wechsler San Anselmo CA
Matthew Schweitzer Educator San Francisco CA
Rick Fraites Director, North Marin Water District Novato CA
Susan Mathews education foundation director Novato CA
Merrell Maschino Volunteer Fairfax CA
Helen Canin Berkeley CA
Julie Manson Co-Chair PeaceNovato Novato CA
Robin Gerrity Executive Director, Can Do! Education Foundation San Rafael CA
Sarah Puckett Educator and community member San anselmo CA
Ron and Heidi Miner Salem OR
Linda Zipperstein Greenbrae CA
Julia van der Ryn Director, Service-Learning/Assist. Prof Humanities , Dominican Univ. of CA San Rafael CA
Carol Foresta BRONX NY
Sharmon Woods Educator Tucson AZ
Mark Lichterman Consultant Huntington Woods MI
Meryl Elinson Educator Greenbrae CA
Bobbie Wunsch San Anselmo CA
Wendy Wilkinson Woodacre CA
Heather Park Concord NC
Janee Adams Novato CA
Martha R Gore Retired MLS Tucson AZ
Gina Hagen Vice President, Santa Venetia Neighborhood Association and parent San Rafael CA
Sally Chacon Assistant Project Manager San Rafael CA
Shannon Farr Signal Mountain TN
Helen Barrett Retired Chattanooga TN
suzi klucker Madison VA
Terena Mares Marin County Office of Education Deputy Superintendent CA
David Weinsoff Town council member Fairfax CA
Amanda Charne Lawyer San Rafael CA
Wendy Botwin Fairfax CA
Stephanie Clark Mother/Wife/Daughter /Sister Fairfax CA
Jeff Knowles Willow Creek Academy Board Member Sausalito Marin City School District CA
Rhonda Kutter Aide to Supervisor Rodoni Point Reyes Station CA
Zoe Borkowski Community member Mill Valley CA
Lisha Driscoll Community member Mill Valley CA
Jan Yarish ECE Director Novato CA
Jon Marker CEO Youth Leadership Institute San Rafael CA
Alex Spotswood San Rafael CA
Jessica Marker Educator San Rafael CA
Susan Andres Director of Marketing, Bishop O'Dowd High School Oakland CA
John Grimes caretaker Healdsburg CA
Rebekah Collins Fairfax CA
Jody D. Timms Commission on Aging; Fairfax Climate Action Committee Fairfax CA
Meredith Parnell Executive Director San Anselmo CA
Anna Pletcher Candidate for District Attorney Mill Valley CA
John Reed Town Council Member / Mayor Fairfax CA
Anna Frost San Anselmo CA
Amy Sickler Mom Fairfax CA
Maureen Bennett Citizen San Anselmo CA
Pat Zuch Sausalito CA
Bill Werner City Council Candidate, Sausalito Sausalito CA
Amy Rogers Biologist Fairfax CA
Laura Webb Fairfax CA
Elizabeth Schwebel Corte Madera CA
alice Treves Psychotherapist San Rafael CA
Darren Mar-Elia San Anselmo CA
Holly Brandborg Fairfax CA
Rebecca Wicker Educator Fairfax CA
Monique Shefer San Anselmo CA
Erika Smith Teacher Fairfax CA
Tina G McMillan Novato CA
Scott Grace Fairfax Fairfax CA
Annadel Dong Mother Fairfax CA
Kirstin Weeks Parent San Rafael CA
Cecilia Quintana-Perez Educator Novato CA
Michelle Beare San Anselmo CA

How to Elevate

We invite you to join other local residents and community leaders who are committing to taking an active role to promote thoughtful, productive dialog by:

  • Listening to and learning about other opinions that could be critical in reaching new solutions.
  • Recognizing that people with diverse opinions have something to contribute to the conversation.
  • Refusing  to engage in name calling, derisive or disrespectful speech, vulgarity, sarcasm, attributions about the motives of others, insults, character assassination, and mockery.
  • Addressing behaviors that target, disparage, intimidate and dehumanize others.
  • Being productive and solution-oriented.

Contributing positively through:

A willingness to participate in serious, informed, frank exchanges of ideas and views;

Focusing on solutions and recognizing that good solutions are rarely simple, and require dealing with complexity and ambiguity;

Focusing on the issues rather than on the individual(s) espousing them;

Seeking out verified information;

Thoughtful listening to diverse opinions;

Avoidance of impulsive retaliation;

Efforts to diffuse anger, resentment and irrationality rather than stoking it;

Searching for points of common purpose;

A willingness to change your mind;

Assuming the need to compromise and being willing to do so;

Treating the ideas of others with respect; and

Avoiding violence (physical, emotional, and verbal).



The Civil Conversations Project

The Civil Conversations Project seeks to renew common life in a fractured and tender world. We are a conversation-based, virtues-based resource towards hospitable, trustworthy relationship with and across difference. We honor the power of asking better questions, model re-framed approaches to entrenched debates, and insist that the ruptures above the radar do not tell the whole story of our time. We aspire to amplify and cross-pollinate the generative new realities that are also being woven, one word and one life at a time.


Better Conversations a Starter Guide
An invitation from Krista Tippet


Not In Our Town
Not In Our Town is a movement to stop hate, address bullying, and build safe, inclusive communities for all.



The Center for Nonviolent Communication

The Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) is a global organization that supports the learning and sharing of Nonviolent Communication (NVC), and helps people peacefully and effectively resolve conflicts in personal, organizational, and political settings.


Situations in Public Engagement


The New Conversations Initiative 
is a resource center and network for self-help and mutual support in learning new communication skills.  We invite you to explore our free, open-source, workbook, a wide range of articles and training materials, plus an online bookstore, all to help you…