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Newsletter - May 2023

The overriding theme for this month's newsletter is R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

On this Memorial Day I want to express my respect and gratitude for those that made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. The broader theme of this month's newsletter is respect for those that have different opinions or beliefs than our own.

The fifth of Steven Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is "Seek first to understand, then to be understood." This principle is also applicable to a highly effective democracy.

We all have an instinct to negatively judge those whose opinion or outlook is different than ours. Hillary Clinton famously said, “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables." She clarified that she was being "grossly generalistic," but this example epitomizes the tendency for people in all walks of life to label and disrespect groups who do not share their beliefs.

Rather than discounting or disrespecting opinions that differ from our own, we would all be better served to take a moment to try to understand and embrace different perspectives.

Earlier this month I had the privilege of attending a Braver Angels national member meeting. Braver Angels seeks to depolarize American politics through grassroots organizing. The primary areas of focus for the member meeting were their upcoming National Convention and the recent launch of their Braver Network.

The National Convention, which will be held in Gettysburg, PA in early July is expected to have 600 "politically balanced" delegates. They have assembled a very robust agenda, which will be punctuated by voting on an actionable platform at the end of the convention. For those that are interested in attending, delegate applications are still being accepted.

The Braver Network is open to any organization that wants to be part of the solution (i.e. broad based movement for civic renewal). There are already 138 organizations that are part of the Braver Network, and I strongly encourage organizational representatives that are reading this newsletter to consider joining this outstanding network.

Posts and additional info from the past month:

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Have a great month!


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