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Saturday’s Sub-Plenary, a Panel of Conservatives

Here’s the final info for Saturday’s sub-plenary session (one of two large sessions) featuring four conservatives who support public engagement work.

Walking our Talk: What the D&D Community Can Learn from Conservatives

Saturday 2:15 to 4:00 pm – Ballroom A

The D&D community and related fields struggle with the fact that this kind of work attracts many more progressives than conservatives. The vast majority of D&D practitioners are politically progressive, and it’s often more challenging to recruit people with more traditional or conservative views to participate in dialogue and deliberation programs. This is a major problem for a field that embraces inclusion as a core principle, and we want to address this challenge head-on at NCDD Austin.

Join us for a panel discussion and dialogue featuring conservative leaders who support public engagement. Panelists will share their thoughts and ideas about the state of American civic engagement and the fields of dialogue and deliberation. Learn about language commonly used in the D&D field that inadvertently turns off people with more conservative views and/or traditional values. At a time of increasing division and polarization in the U.S., more effective ways of engaging with those whose worldviews differ from ours is critically needed. This is a unique opportunity to interact with four leaders who strongly value civic responsibility, engagement and community, but approach it from different points of view.

Our panelists…

Joseph McCormick
Joseph McCormick is the co-founder of Reuniting America, a network of individuals, associations and organizations engaged in dialogue across divides since 2004. Joseph was a Republican nominee for the U.S. Congress in Georgia in 1998 in one of the most conservative districts in the country. As a veteran of our political civil war he recognizes the most destructive force in our country today is Americans taking sides against other Americans. As a result of his experience he has become a pioneer of the transpartisan movement, teaching people how to increase their political empowerment by constructively engaging across political divides. He is a former officer in the U.S. Army Rangers and a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and Yale University.

Grover Norquist
Grover Norquist, who is of Swedish descent, grew up in Weston, Massachusetts and has a BA and MBA from Harvard University. After leaving professional school, Norquist became executive director of both the National Taxpayers Union and the national College Republicans organization, holding both positions until 1983. Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform in 1985, at the request of President Ronald Reagan, and has headed the organization ever since. Mr. Norquist is author of the book Leave Us Alone: Getting the Government’s Hands Off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives. The book is an optimistic look at how the conservative movement can and will grow during the next 25 years. Mr. Norquist also serves on the Boards of the National Rifle Association of America and the American Conservative Union.

Michael Ostrolenk
Michael D. Ostrolenk is a public policy consultant who works on health, education, privacy and national security related issues. Michael is the founder and national coordinator for the Medical Privacy Coalition, and Executive Director of the Transpartisan Center in Washington DC. He is the co-founder and National Director of the Liberty Coalition, a transpartisan coalition of groups working to protect civil liberties, privacy and human autonomy. He is also co-founder and President of the American Conservative Defense Alliance, which works to promote a traditional conservative foreign and defense policy. Michael has written for a wide variety of publications ranging from USA Today to The American Conservative Magazine. He has also done dozens of talk radio interviews on national security related issues.

Pete Peterson
Pete Peterson is executive director of Common Sense California, a bi-partisan organization that supports and promotes civic engagement throughout California. In 2005, Pete ran for the Republican nomination of a county-level office in his native New Jersey. Pete has worked on several Republican campaigns both for state and national office. Based on his experiences and current work, he sees a growing partisanship becoming one of the great challenges to American governance in the coming decades. He has written several opinion pieces about the need for greater policy-making power at the local level and a removal of ideological influences in local decisions. Pete is a graduate of The George Washington University and has a Masters in Public Policy from Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy. He was a Public Affairs Fellow of the Hoover Institution in 2006.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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  1. […] Pete as the Executive Director of Common Sense California, and remember him from the popular “conservatives panel” we held at the 2008 NCDD national conference in Austin.  As we announced last July, Common […]

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