Community Conversations: Local Voices Heard

The League of Women Voters of Texas, the Coffee Party and other interested nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations are embarking on a long-term project. We intend to hold a series of facilitated community conversations from May 2012 through October 2012 in various strategic locations across Texas. Here are some of our goals:

  • Finding voter-approved solutions to vexing political problems
  • Engaging members of the public who have likely only heard sound bites on these topics
  • Minting activists (participants in these settings often will evangelize their findings)
  • Demonstrating the immense power of civil discourse
  • Attracting the attention of elected officials (“here is what your constituents REALLY think about this issue when given a chance to have a conversation”)
  • Attracting media attention

Coffee Party Austin plans to send a fundraising proposal (letter of interest) to potential funders in the fall of 2011. Our proposal will suggest a recurring event where conversations would take place over time – one evening/week for approximately 8 weeks. Conversation topics include the state budget crisis and the influence of money in politics (particularly as it relates to judicial selection).

This promises to be a major undertaking. Tasks include:

  • Creating background information for participants
  • Arranging venues for the conversations
  • Inviting participants
  • Facilitating the discussions
  • Collecting and compiling the resulting information, creating a report for lawmakers
  • Generating media interest

These conversations will culminate in a report that will be presented to legislators and their aides at Legislative Forum to be held in January 2013.

If you would like to help with this undertaking, please email us at



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