West Valley City Meetup Participants Experience the Power of Story Sharing

Jan Garbett, congressional candidate running in Utah's 2nd District, held a BreakFree Meetup in West Valley City on June 14, 2018. The Meetup, as with past gatherings, enabled citizens to share thoughts about issues that matter to them, and to explore some of the complexities of these issues. At this Meetup in West Valley, issues that were repeatedly mentioned by attendees included education, immigration, and health care.   

Jan's intent with these Meetups is not to come quickly to solutions, but to give people the opportunity to have their voice be part of the political process, and to experience listening to others. Jan believes that one way to break down barriers to solutions is for both leaders and citizens to be better at listening and creating space for more idea-sharing.

Jan uses a uniquely-designed engagement process, a process built on years of emergent, collaborative work with change and community- building experts. This process invites not just talking about issues, but gives people the opportunity to get to know each other a little as individuals. This Meetup process consistently bears positive fruits.

"[We] didn't get into any arguments or fights or name calling" as we discussed controversial issues, one attendee in West Valley noted. Another attendee said that "the power of story [sharing]" in the Meetup helped create an opportunity to "[understand] where [others] are coming from."

"Politics currently divide people," Jan notes. "I believe it will take our congressional representatives and citizens working with each other to uncover the solutions we all so intently desire to find. At these Meetups, I want people to experience something different than the usual pendulum politics. Different is what my campaign is all about."

Click here to register for an upcoming Meetup, or to request a Meetup in your town.

See the reports from past Meetups here.

Taylor Rippy Monson