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:
Helen Richfield San Geronimo CA
Kathleen McDade Ms San Diego CA
Rebecca Sylla Kentfield CA
Mary Jane Burke School Superintendent Novato CA
Bibit` Traut Professor San Anselmo CA
Mark Solomons Volunteer Coordinator Fairfax CA
Mike Waite resident San Anselmo CA
Randy Hibbitts San Anselmo CA
Carolyn Gencarella San anselmo Ca
David Donery San Anselmo Town Manager San Anselmo CA
Tom McInerney San Anselmo Town Council San Anselmo CA
Wade Stevenson San Anselmo San Anselmo CA
Kathy Thornton Community Volunteer San Anselmo CA
Lisa Graham San Anselmo CA
Aggie Favaloro San Anselmo CA
Renee Goddard Fairfax CA
John Wright Town Council Member San Anselmo CA
Debra Albinson Larkspur CA
Tracey Bobo San Rafael CA
Andy Van Horn Educator Tiburon CA
Brett Geithman Superintendent of LCMSD Larkspur CA
Luke McCann School Administrator San Rafael CA
Julie Harris Principal San Rafael CA
Stacy Marshall Kentfield CA
Richard Sloan Trustee Woodacre CA
Gregory Mack Trustee Novato Unified School District Novato CA
Will Anderson San Rafael San Rafael CA
Kim Goodhope Elementary Principal San Rafael CA
Susan Naretto Elementary school Principal San Rafael CA
Susan Christman Attorney Larkspur CA
Timothy Davidson Doctoral student Novato CA
David Sondheim Educator San Rafael CA
David Luongo Principal Larkspur CA
Leo Kostelnik Principal Mill Valley CA
Paul Tuohy School administrator San Rafael CA
Anna Lazzarini Middle School Prinipal Mill Valley CA
Jennifer Dudley Principal Novato CA
Kim Kirley Principal Park Elementary School Mill Valley Mill Valley CA
Tracee Edmunds Educator Petaluma CA
Sarah Brewster Education administration San Rafael CA
Rachel Kertz Trustee San Rafael City Schools San Rafael CA
Bruce Abbott Chief Business Official Shoreline Unified School District Tomales CA
Mollie Allen Kiehfuss Greenbrae CA
Daniel Zaich Dr. San Rafael CA
Mary Vidal Health Services Coordinator Fairfax CA
Don Carney Director YMCA Marin County Youth Court Fairfax CA
Jason Richardson Fairfax CA
ling reilly Accoutant San Rafael CA
Amy Jonak San Rafael CA
Diane Peterson Teacher and Coach San Rafael CA
David Hellman Trustee on the Marin County Board of Education and Attorney CPA San Rafael CA
Brad Honsberger Dixie School Board Trustee San Rafael CA
Kristine Cirby Executive Director Novato CA
Pam Sowerby Mill Valley CA
Timothy Bucy Teacher Larkspur CA
JUDITH KIRKLAND educator Mill Valley CA
Mike Grant Education Director San Rafael CA
Jim Shirk CA
Kimberly Chandler Senior Admistrative San Rafael CA
Christina Fass MCOE School Psychologist Assistant Program Manager Marin County CA
June Holmberg San Anselmo CA
Linda Henn Program Director Kentfield CA
Pam Flores San Rafael San Rafael CA
Laura Anderson Tamalpais Union High School District Board President Larkspur CA
Shea Morgan Paraeducator San Rafael CA
Erin Ashley School Administrator San Rafael CA
Priscilla Troy Nicasio resident School Staff Nicasio CA
Karen Allen Educator Novato CA
Susan Wilkinson Special Day Class Teacher San Rafael CA
mary Williams San Rafael Sonoma CA
Michael Breard Executive Director of Oak Hill School Corte Madera CA
Mary Batchelder Public Educator Novato CA
Will McCoy Superintendent Marin City CA
Jodie NewDelman Dr. San Geronimo CA
Claire Thuesen Fairfax CA
Scott Hummel Fairfax CA
Stephanie Hellman Fairfax CA
Jason Morrison Fairfax CA
Gloria Elizabeth Ms Forest Knolls CA
Hanan Peck Fairfax CA
Hope Kragh Greenbrae CA
Tom King Candidate for San Anselmo Town Council San Anselmo CA
Skip Kniesche Principal Kentfield CA
Lexie Cala Elementary School Principal San Rafael CA
Katy Dunlap Principal San Rafael CA
Adriane Lommel Novato CA
Barbara Owens School board trustee Mill Valley CA
Christina Perrino CA
Amy Edelson ----
Lisa Canin San Anselmo CA
kathleen baker ----
Shelby LaMotte CA
Jamie Ginsberg ----
Jessica Carroll ----
Norma Barnett ----
Susana McKeough CA
Mish LosGoodes CA
Joan Kaul Ms ----
Lisa Barto CA
Kate Brennan Dr. 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…