Salt Lake Meetup Attendees Declare, "You Have my Vote!"
"I haven't been an active citizen in the past. Here I got to be a participant. We need more done using this [participatory] model."
"I expected a caucus meeting. This was enlightening."
Such are some of the reflections from attendees at the latest BreakFree Meetup hosted by Jan Garbett, congressional candidate running in Utah's 2nd District. The Meetup, held on June 7, 2018 near downtown Salt Lake City, brought people with a variety of perspectives and opinions together to share thoughts about issues that matter to them, including the environment/climate change, immigration, health care, and federal debt.
Jan uses a unique engagement process, a process built on years of emergent, collaborative work with change and community-building experts. Even though these BreakFree Meetups are only an hour and a half long, participants have the opportunity to experience something rarely, if ever, experienced elsewhere, especially in a political setting.
"Politics currently divide people," Jan notes. "I believe it will take our congressional representatives and citizens working with each other rather than against each other to uncover the solutions we so intently desire. At these Meetups, I want people to experience something different than the usual pendulum politics. Different is what my campaign is all about."
Jan's different is impacting people. Following are more comments from attendees at the June 7 Meetup:
"I'm comparing this experience to another group. How critical it is to first spend time getting to know people before working with them on an issue."
"[The way the meeting was designed] really helped with different ideas where we were able to listen, and talk and discuss. All had an opportunity to share, be heard and participate."
By the end of the meeting, a couple of attendees simply declared, "You have my vote!" But Jan wants people to know that even if they are not at all ready to commit to a vote, Jan welcomes any and all citizens in District 2 to take a little bit of time out of their schedules to experience different with her and their fellow citizens.
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