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:
Ellen McGlynn San Rafael CA
Tessa Gaddis Librarian Woodacre CA
Jill Korst San Anselmo CA
Michael Watenpaugh Superintendent San Rafael CA
Carol Burns Retiree San Rafael CA
Vicki Ascher Fairfax CA
Dana Sadan Principal Novato CA
Yolanda Roose Teacher San Rafael CA
Pascale Gregory San Anselmo CA
Cindy Griggs Novato CA
Lisa Schwartz Director San Rafael CA
Diana Bishop Chief of Police, San Rafael San Rafael CA
Sarah Nelson Teacher Petaluma CA
Lauren Menchavez Vice-Principal San Rafael CA
Karen McCormish Educator Kentfield CA
Kathryn Cunnyngham community Fairfax San Anselmo CA
Karin Soriano-Bilal Teacher CORTE MADERA CA
Mary Acord Teacher Fairfax CA
Jan La Torre-Derby Educator San Rafael CA
Barbara Snekkevik Principal Nicasio CA
Maggie Stevens Teacher San Anselmo CA
Molly O'Donoghue Teacher San Rafael CA
Bonny White Librarian Lagunitas CA
Connie Benz Novato CA
Montserrat Levi Novato CA
Chris Benz physician Novato CA
Scott Quinn San Rafael CA
Susan Malanche Mill Valley CA
Jenny Rosenberg teacher Novato CA
Danielle Diego teacher Sausalito CA
Laurel Botsford Volunteer Sausalito CA
Wendy Holmes Administrator Mill Valley CA
LaWand eichman San Rafael CA
Linda Munroe-Davidson Novato CA
Mary Bly San Rafael CA
Ken Lippi Assistant Superintendent, MCOE Novato CA
Ned Purdom San Anselmo Ca
Sylvie Astrid Parent San Rafael CA
Beatriz Lituanio San Rafael CA
Katy Foster High School Principal, Parent Mill Valley CA
Cynthia Brooks San Francisco CA
David Kirwin Berkeley CA
Barbara Rowe Retired Presbyterian Minister Mill Valley CA
Zoe Davis Admission Assistant San Anselmo CA
Nancy Etheredge mother San Francisco CA
Diane Fischler San Rafael CA
Robert Mackin self employed attorney Seattle WA
Margaret Beyer San Rafael CA
Clairette C Wilson Clairette C Wilson (MCOE-Trustee) Tomales CA
Sinéad Donery White Hill Middle School Student San Anselmo CA
Mary Marcy President San Rafael CA
Monika Grotz Hilton Head Island Hilton Head Island SC
Anne Burns Retiree White Salmon WA
Chris McKibbin Business Exec San Francisco CA
Susan Neil San Anselmo CA
Josh Fryday Councilman Novato CA
traci wolverton kokoszka L.M.T. mill Valley CA
Sharon McCarthy San Rafael San Rafael CA
Ray Withy Council Member Sausalito CA
Bri Silva Program Coordinator San Rafael CA
Sage Beale Teacher's Aid Marin City CA
Ford Greene San Anselmo Town Council San Anselmo CA
Elise Semonian Planning Director Larkspur CA
TESIA Beam San Rafael CA
Sara Vurek Hospital Chaplain San Rafael CA
Marilyn Nemzer County Board of Education member Tiburon CA
Amy Skewes-Cox Chair, San Domenico Board of Trustees Ross CA
Julie Quater Community Member San Anselmo CA
Rebecca Sullivan San Anselmo CA
John Beuttler San Anselmo CA
Lisel Blash Fairfax CA
Alice Baker Fairfax CA
kathy green San Anselmo CA
Tim Heth San Anselmo CA
Andrea Lange Fairfax CA
Chris Lyons Fairfax CA
Rebecca Nowlen Fairfax CA
Emily Belo Petaluma CA
Kathy Lake Fairfax CA
Julie Mozena San Anselmo CA
Delia Van der Plas San Anselmo CA
Katherine Csizmadia San Anselmo CA
Evelyn Weiser San Anselmo CA
Katie Rice San Anselmo CA
Brook Wilkinson Fairfax CA
Toby Janson-Smith Chief Innovation Officer, VCS Fairfax CA
Anna Simmons CA
Diana Sottile San Anselmo CA
Ryan Damm Fairfax CA
Sierra Tunafish Monkeymind Salin Fairfax CA
Torri Chappell Educator San Anselmo CA
Susie Brillault Bergen Fairfax CA
Rana Barar fairfax CA
Mandy Thomasson Fairfax CA
Holly Bragman Fairfax CA
Mary Spilsbury Fairfax CA
Victoria Fennell Educator Fairfax CA
Maria Kallmeyer Ross CA
Bridget Clark San Anselmo CA
Stephanie Note Teacher San Rafael 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…