This Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 20, Conversation Corps is hosting it’s first ever “Day of Dialogue.”
Conversation Corps is a partnership between the City, AISD, Capital Metro, and Leadership Austin, which is administering the program and training volunteers to become facilitators. Goals of the program include improving the ways in which the community communicates with one another and increasing the tools for the agencies to use in involving the public in public policymaking.
How does it work?
On February 20, facilitators (members of the Corps) will host conversations in cafes, houses of worship and other neighborhood facilities in all parts of the community. Their conversations will cover a variety of topics put forward by the City, Capital Metro, and Austin ISD, including:
- The CodeNEXT rewrite of the City’s land development laws.
- Proposed changes to the City’s cemetery rules.
- AISD’s Facilities Master Plan.
- Capital Metro’s Connections 2025 plan.
Leadership Austin’s new Engage On The Go program will also be included in the Day of Dialogue. While not directly related to policy decisions, the following topics are also available and input from these will be shared with the Conversation Corps partnering agencies as well:
- Journalism & Politics
- Transportation Equity
- Women in Leadership
How to get Involved
Participate as a conversation host or a participant. Sign up here for more details.
Also, if you’re interested in honing your dialogue and facilitation skills, we have training opportunities coming up on February 10 and 11, 8am – noon. We can also bring the training to you! Just fill out one of the following forms: Register for Training or Request a Training.
Why is this important?
The Conversation Corps partners believe that we need better dialogue now more than ever before. We want to change the way our community talks and even more importantly the way we listen.
“Community engagement is a shared responsibility between government and the people we serve,” Interim Austin City Manager Elaine Hart said. “Conversation Corps puts that principle to practice by giving our community the opportunity to be part of the solution. I encourage any civic-minded resident or business to join us.”
“Conversation Corps is a great example of how public agencies like ours can collaborate to create positive change in our community,” said Linda Watson, Chief Executive Officer of Capital Metro. “By joining forces, we hope to hear from citizens we don’t normally get to hear from. We know most people don’t have time to come to our public meetings. Day of Dialogue will bring the public meeting to them —to their neighborhood meetings, places of worship, places of employment and even their dinner tables.”
“We’re proud to be partnering with the City of Austin and Capital Metro in community conversations throughout the city,” AISD Superintendent Paul Cruz said. “Our goal is to have a meaningful civic dialogue that brings people together to collaborate on topics that are important to everyone in the community. From the classroom to the roadways, we want to hear what’s important to the Austin community.”
Upcoming Conversation Corps trainings will occur 8 a.m.-noon February 10 and 11 at Leadership Austin. Leadership Austin is also accepting invitations from employers and other organizations to visit their facilities to train their employees or members. To find out more and register for a training, visit ConversationCorps.org.