Increasing Community Engagement Project: Kitchen Table Conversations
We are partnering with the Town Council Committee on Media and Outreach to identify effective methods of communication and increase interest and participation in town government.
In July and August 2019 we will have a series of “Kitchen Table Conversations” throughout Watertown. These conversations will take place in homes or public spaces around town. We are looking for hosts who will invite 6-8 neighbors to participate in facilitated conversations for about 1.5 hours. Each conversation will be facilitated by a Watertown Community Conversation facilitator and many will be attended by a Town Councilor who can serve as a resource. The purpose of these conversations is to gather input from a broad, diverse group of Watertown community members about public engagement. These should be lively, fun and informative!
If you are interested in hosting a “Kitchen Table Conversation” this summer, please come to a meeting on Sunday, June 23, 2019 from 2:30-4:30 at the library. If you’d are interested or would like to find out more about hosting, whether or not you can make it on June 23, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the fall we will hold a Report Back Event for the Town Council and everyone who participated in order to identify priorities from what has emerged and to celebrate the work that has been done.
Introduction to Civil Conversations
Please watch the video, Introduction to Civil Conversations, for additional information on how others have implemented similar programs in their communities.
We are delighted to partner with The Watertown Free Public Library on their Democracy Talks series. In the Library's words, Democracy Talks "is a series of events designed to illuminate the democratic process and create space for conversation. Our expert speakers grapple with the thorniest issues of our time, providing much-needed context and suggesting paths to engagement."
Watertown Community Conversations facilitates the public dialogue session immediately following the selected presentations. Our goal is to help neighbors have thoughtful and productive dialogue about some of the most challenging issues facing our democracy. Through a facilitated conversation, participants explore what the topic means for them personally and for Watertown.
The full Democracy Talks schedule can be found here: https://www.watertownlib.org/380/Democracy-Talks.
Watertown Community Conversations:FaciliTator Training
The first cadre of 12 new Watertown Community Conversation facilitators were trained in June of 2018. In the 2-day training participants learned skills to facilitate small group conversations as part of Watertown Community Conversations.
We will run another two-day training for new Watertown Community Conversation facilitators before the end of 2019. There is no cost to participate in the training and no prior facilitation experience is required. If you would like to receive information about future training opportunities please email us at email@example.com.
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