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:
Walt Buster Consultant San Rafael CA
Bill Honig Resident Mill Valley CA
Evangeline Heath San Anselmo CA
Bjorn Remmers Educator Tiburon CA
Elizabeth DeRuff Agricultural Chaplain Larkspur CA
Luke Duchene School Director Fairfax CA
Mamura Fayzieva paraeducator Sausalito CA
Nancy Neu Administrator Novato Ca
Chris Valdez Principal Marin Catholic Kentfield CA
Kendra Bontz Teacher Tiburon CA
Nathan Grebil Educator Mill Valley CA
Barbara Brown Head of School at The Marin School San Rafael CA
B Schneider Tiburon Ca
Judith Arrow School Administrator San Rafael CA
Susan Markx Retired deputy superintendent of schools Novato CA
Gary Chappell Community Resident San Anselmo CA
Cindie Tashima San Anselmo CA
Jesse Madsen Educator San Rafael CA
Kate Lane PUblic Schools Accountant Novato CA
Kelly Morphy Educator Sausalito CA
Chris Mazzola Head of School Branson Ross CA
Cameran Kline pratt Psychologist San Anselmo Ca
Nikki Pitcher Assistant Principal San Rafael CA
Ross Sullivan San Anselmo CA
Tara Seekins Principal Sausalito CA
Jason Deppong Elementary School Principal Mill Valley CA
Katherine Steinberg Speech Language Pathologist San Rafael CA
Keli Honsberger Parent and community member San Rafael CA
Debbie Wolfe Ross Ross CA
Jasmine Stevenson Nonprofit Leader San Rafael CA
Shannon Hicks San Anselmo CA
Jim Larson Middle School Principal Novato CA
Susan Cleveland-Knowles Sausalito City Council Candidate Sausalito CA
Maika Llorens Gulati School board member and executive director of nonprofit San Rafael CA
Pam Drew City Council Member Novato CA
Michelene Moayedi HeadsUp Executive Director, Parent San Rafael CA
Pat Eklund Council Member and former Mayor Novato CA
Dorothy Proudfoot Attorney Alameda CA
Samantha Salenger Portland Portland OR
Cindy Swift Fairfax CA
Carol Farrer HeadsUp board member San Rafael CA
Damon Connolly Marin County Supervisor San Rafael CA
Holli Thier Tiburon Town Council Tiburon CA
Bobbie Chinsky Community Volunteer Gilbert AZ
Susan Quater retired San Rafael CA
Max Perrey Chair, Sierra Club Marin Group Mill Valley CA
Claire Chedekel Occupational Therapist Fairfax CA
Sharon Sagar Fairfax CA
Pete Santucci Co-Lead Music Teacher Fairfax CA
Eric Lucan City Council Member Novato CA
Denise Athas Mayor Novato CA
Kate Colin City Council Member San Rafael CA
Sara Barnes Mill Valley CA
Mary Moore Novato CA
Anne Mannes Fairfax and Woodacre CA
Barbara Coler Town Council member, Fairfax Fairfax CA
Christine Franceschi San Rafael CA
Judy Schriebman Board Director Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District San Rafael CA
Kevin Morrison Candidate for City Council, Novato, CA Novato CA
Melissa Blaustein City Council Candidate, Sausalito Sausalito CA
Lorenzo Cordova Aide to Supervisor Dennis Rodoni San Rafael CA
Tina Quintanilla Community Member Novato CA
Sheila Dutton Larkspur CA
John Hammond Citizen Marinwood CA
Cameron Tuttle Energy consultant & engaged citizen San Rafael CA
Nelson Branco physician San Anselmo CA
Kristen Bradshaw Teacher Tiburon CA
Carin Rhodes Teacher San Anselmo CA
Monica McGue Kentfield CA
Jennifer Treppa Novato CA
Lora Nazarian school Tiburon CA
Ryan Davis Teacher Tiburon CA
Lisa Conlon Teacher Tiburon CA
Jane Firpo Educator Novato CA
Mirna Long San Rafael CA
Hillary Whitman Fairfax Ca
Melissa Chester San Rafael CA
Kate Osborn Novato CA
Josie Sanguinetti SRO CA
Amanda Massey Principal Point Reyes Station CA
Paul Johnson Superintendent Mill Valley CA
Ashley Paff Kentfield CA
Pamela Vargas-Touchard Citizen Mill Valley CA
Leslie Cohl Principal Mill Valley CA
Dick Spotswood Journalist Mill Valley CA
Emma Rigge Fairfax Ca
Kurt Weinsheimer Sausalito CA
Lisa Leavitt Pediatrician San Rafael CA
Marijke Smit Planner Sausalito CA
Jack Beuttler Oakland CA
Moni Hill Artist Asheville NC
Jim Henry Resident Sausalito CA
Darcy Ellsworth Yow San Rafael CA
Hara Bosch Greenbrae CA
Christina Hale Teacher Mill Valley CA
Douglas Zesiger Teacher Contra Costa CA
Walt Leonard Petaluma CA
Chris Pflueger Teacher Novato CA
Kathleen O'Brien San Anselmo CA
Bob Densmore Teacher Bolinas 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…