Inspired by the national trend of politicized, polarized thinking, the Civility Roundtable is designed to bring residents and neighbors together to discuss and debate important topics to the community before these issues are presented to City Council for their consideration.
“It’s tough to have a sense of community when you are continually outraged by your neighbors who think a little differently than you do. A discussion designed to inform and engage the citizenry before hot topics reach a boiling point is a good idea,” says Ken Rosenberg, Human Relations Commissioner and the organizer for the event.
The goals of the Community Roundtable are threefold:
- To bring more civility, more trust, and a greater sense of common cause to public discussions of the urgent problems we collectively face.
- To promote a shared responsibility and engage more Mountain View neighbors in the work of building a stronger and better city.
- To reach these two objectives by engaging citizens in constructive discussions.
The event will feature a “fishbowl” discussion, conducted by Chris Block of the American Leadership Forum – Silicon Valley, and will include representatives from businesses and residents of Mountain View including Google, Meyers Appliance, a Trustee from the Mountain View Whisman School District, and a neighborhood activist. The participants will sit in a circle and discuss the issues surrounding responsibilities of corporations and businesses in Mountain View utilizing a method of interaction designed to maintain civility and promote decorum. The audience will sit around the fishbowl in circles. The idea is to branch away from panel discussions which tend to be more of a lecture.