Opportunities for Candidates, Elected Officials, & Staff
Online Skills Workshop & Certification
Managing Difficult Conversations with Constituents and Colleagues Approx 40 min, on your time
This certificate-bearing workshop will equip you with practical tools you can use immediately when a constituent or colleague (of whatever political party) tells you how wrong you are and how you should change course. These skills can lower stress that comes from having difficult political conversations and help you feel more satisfied and more confident in your role as an elected official. At best, you will soften critics and find more common ground. Or at least you won’t add fuel to today’s epidemic of incivility.
Online, asynchronous course. Take the course now.
Citizen Action Program
Candidate Debates: 1 hour w/ 2 candidates
Too often, debates are attended only by activists and staff on each participant’s side. We’re changing that. Braver Politics Candidate Debates source issues from politically and socio-economically diverse voters within the district of a debate’s participants and hold participants to specific ground rules. A Committee formed of politically and socio-economically diverse locals will write neutrally-phrased questions related to the issues identified by the community and vote unanimously on their inclusion in the debate.
Our ground rules ensure candidates focus on action rather than intent, that they avoid stereotypes, exaggerations, and straw men, and help ensure constituents will learn what differentiates candidates on the issues that matter most to them.
Neighbor Conversations with a Candidate: 2 hours
This workshop is designed to include 7-10 people and one candidate or elected official meeting in a citizen’s home to talk together about shared values and concerns about a specific issue, followed by conversations about polarization, sources of it, and what each attendee and elected official or candidate can do to promote depolarization. Like all other Braver Angels activities, an important component of our debates is that participants are bound by the Braver Angels Pledge.
Become a Citizen Volunteer
Engage as a Candidate or Elected Official
Additional Braver Politics Opportunities
Managing Difficult Conversations with Constituents: 2 hrs. – Online & In-Person
This workshop presents listening and speaking skills for elected officials at all levels, within the framework of how to deal with disagreeing constituents and colleagues. It is nonpartisan, making it especially useful for nonpartisan local officials.
Participants: no limit on size
Managing Difficult Conversations with Colleagues: 2 hrs. – Online & In-Person
This workshop presents listening and speaking skills for elected officials at all levels within the framework of how to deal with disagreeing colleagues. It focuses on building relationships across the aisle and understanding colleagues’ underlying “why” to enable honest and respectful policy arguments.
Participants: No limit on size.
Red/Blue Workshops: 3 or 6 hrs – Online and In-Person
R/B Workshops for Elected Officials
This workshop includes a discussion of life experiences that have influenced personal values and beliefs about public policy and community well-being, offers insight into and understanding of the thought processes of those across the aisle (fishbowl exercise), and forges stronger inter-party relationships.
Participants: Republican/Democratic balance; 5-6 from each side.
R/B Workshops for Staff of Candidates and Elected Officials
This workshop includes discussions of life experiences that have influenced personal values and beliefs about public policy and community well-being, a fishbowl exercise that centers around specific issues of importance to each side and forges stronger inter-party relationships.
Participants: Any staff member of an elected official.
Constituent Conversations: A Workshop w/ Elected Officials: 2.5 hrs – In-Person
This is a moderated discussion between the elected official and a small group of politically diverse constituents who share their views on two issues that are chosen in advance. The focus is on how participants’ life experiences play into their concern about the issue, and the elected official also shares perspectives.
Participants: Any elected official and their constituents.
Deliberative Town Halls: 2 hrs – Online and In-Person
The Braver Angels Town Hall focuses on an issue chosen in advance.
Hour 1: citizens in small, mixed groups discussing the issue and finding common ground.
Hour 2: moderated conversation among the citizens and one or two elected officials.
Participants: Any constituent or member of the public.
1:1 Conversations Between Elected Officials: 1 hr – In Person
This is a structured conversation between two elected officials where they discuss life experiences that influenced policy views, how polarization has impacted government, and what can be done to address it. A moderator is present for state and national-level officials, ensuring that guardrails stay in place.
Participants: 2 elected officials at any level of government, a moderator