Monday, September 10, 2012

2012 Candidates Cafe' Dialogue Tuesday, Sept. 11

ACR Houston, the American Leadership Forum, and The Institute for Sustainable Peace will host the second Candidates Cafe' Dialogue at the United Way of Greater Houston, 50 Waugh Drive, on Tuesday September 11 from 6-8 p.m.

The first Candidates Café Dialogue was held October 19, 2008, with 17 candidates for public office and 100 citizens participating. This second Dialogue aspires to host as many as 50 candidates and 250 citizens. This is an opportunity for candidates to converse with fellow citizens -- speaking and listening to each other -- about big issues that our region faces, such as water supply and quality; air quality; parks, trails & trees; mass transit; education for a dependable work force and green building.

Several of the Green and Democratic candidates on the Harris County ballot will be in attendance. This is a facilitated forum of candidates and citizens; there will be four rounds and each facilitator will manage a table of 4 or 5 people in a structured non-partisan format to discuss pre-determined questions. The facilitator will guide everyone at the table to speak, to listen and to share positive ideas on the issues. A more detailed description of the evening's events can be found here. A summary...

Our country is becoming increasingly polarized and unable to bridge our divisions to find real world, non-partisan solutions for the very complex problems we face.  Houston’s leaders have a history of coming together across political and ethnic divisions to build a thriving community.  That ability to work together is very much a part of the “can do” spirit that has built Houston.

The intense polarization and absence of civil discourse becomes even more evident during the campaign season preceding an election.   What if it were possible for political campaigns to elevate civil discourse? That question led to the idea of convening the first Candidate Café Dialogue, and continues to inspire us.

You are invited to join the discussion. RSVP at this link.

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