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:
Diane Suffridge Psychologist San Rafael CA
Teri McLaughlin Teacher Greenbrae CA
Kendall Galli Educator San Anselmo CA
Nancy Vernon San Anselmo CA
Mike Taylor Principal San Rafael CA
Meredith Barberich San Anselmo CA
Kathleen Schaefer Researcher San Anselmo CA
Jim Orrell Retired Educator Richmomd CA
Susan White Novato resident, parent, county employee Novato CA
Daniel Hillmer City Council Member City of Larkspur CA
Jack Ryan Candidate, Tiburon Town Council Tiburon CA
Dennis Rodoni Supervisor, Marin County District Four Olema CA
Stacy Newcomer Fairfax CA
Beckie Landry Mrs SAN rafael CA
Marv Downey Fairfax CA
Bruce Crock Fairfax CA
Terry Rivera Fairfax CA
Kate Vidinsky Fairfax CA
Eric Holmberg San Anselmo CA
Monica Snell Teacher Nicasio CA
Sara MacBride teacher Mill Valley CA
Shai Lavie parent Fairfax CA
Shannon Myers Therapist San Rafael CA
Stacy Friedman Rabbi Mill Valley CA
Melissa Williams Teacher Novato CA
Paul Shleffar Rabbi San Quentin CA
Natalie Long Parent San Rafael CA
Lisa Brigulio Educator Larkspur CA
Aylin Yaser Fairfax CA
Kim Belgarde San Rafael CA
Raquel Rose Educator San Ansemo CA
Mandie Oler CA
Lynelle Cameron Business San Rafael CA
Jennifer Hammond Fairfax Fairfax CA
Sandy Weinberg San Rafael CA
Laura Shain Principal San Geronimo CA
Laura Talmus Kentfield CA
Conn Hickey San Anselmo CA
Kory Zipperstein MD Greenbrae CA
Gail Mitchell Lawyer Novato CA
Roxanna Draddy Fairfax CA
Tracey Hessel physician San Rafael CA
Harmony Sakai RN Fairfax CA
Kristi Kimball Fairfax CA
Stephanie Harty Fairfax CA
Valerie Pitts Larkspur CA
Melanie Matheson San Rafael CA
Laura Kersell Fairfax CA
Kylie-ann Robb Fairfax CA
Dodi Friedenberg San Anselmo CA
Lynn Noyce San anselmo CA
Jacqueline Tabb Massage Therapist San Anselmo CA
John Schaefer Fairfax CA
John Ferguson Fairfax CA
Judy Ford San Anselmo CA
Jennifer Cronin San Anselmo CA
Kim Janson-Smith fairfax CA
Rebecca Wood San Anselmo CA
Andrea Sumits Fairfax CA
Jennifer Rienks Fairfax CA
Courtney Lillevand San Anselmo CA
Stephanie Pool Fairfax CA
Robin Goebel Fairfax CA
Merrell Maschino Fairfax CA
Suzy Jensen San Rafael CA
Jen Coleman San Anselmo CA
Clea Hovey San Anselmo CA
Angela Vidinsky San Anselmo CA
Rick Meissner Fairfax CA
Debby Strenkofsky Forest knolls CA
Tracy Langley Educator San Anselmo CA
Lauren Duchene Fairfax CA
Christine Margetic Fairfax CA
Daya Karam Fairfax CA
Melinda Richard Administrative Coordinator San Rafael CA
Marianne Alsop San Rafael CA
Alexis Thorpe Fairfax CA
Gary Roth Fairfax CA
David Sinaiko Fairfax CA
David Finnane San Anselmo CA
Julie Whyte San Anselmo CA
Hadley Dettmer Community member San Anselmo CA
Gina Feiner Unincorporated Sleepy Hollow CA
Abra Berkson San Anselmo CA
Erica Tanamachi Producer Fairfax CA
Kristin Kaul San Anselmo CA
Manuel Guzman Fairfax CA
Terri Reinhart Wheat Ridge CA
Denise Tung San Anselmo CA
Lorrie Goldin San Anselmo CA
Robert Holmberg San Anselmo CA
Monique Kunst Fairfax CA
Mark Kehoe San Anselmo CA
Kevin Wrathall Fairfax CA
Eva Polony Preschool Teacher Fairfax CA
Devin Finnane WH School Student | Internet Video Creator/Influener San Anselmo CA
Beverly Brewster Pastor Sleepy Hollow Church San Anselmo CA
Sam Ramji San Abselmo CA
Margaret Heimbrodt San Anselmo CA
Ellen Dodge 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…