Community Conversations: Seeing Warwick from Multiple Lenses Pt. 2

This gathering consisted of twelve people, with only four from the original group. The objective of this meeting was to integrate the work of the first group and move ahead to identify next steps.

Notes from the Nov. 4th meeting:

Greatest concerns and hopes for Warwick:

1. Greatest Concerns:

  • That serious disagreements tend to be swept under the rug rather than
    being dealt with openly and constructively. This is related to the tendency to idealize Warwick.
  • Loss of a shared sense of values. For example – just being good neighbors.
  • Everyday people are not being represented by elected officials and have given up on the political process.
  • Polarization – ways we are politically separated – leading to a disconnect from our values

2. Hopes for Warwick’s future:

  • That we can continue to be a vibrant community – farming, small businesses, good communication.
  • Value the gift of one another despite differences.
  • To rise above divisions that exist.
  • To bring people together from different points of view.
  • Community values move toward common values not dividing value

A next step:
To create a work session to identify a series of community conversations.

  • The work session will be made up of a subgroup of Warwick Working Together attendees representing different points of views (5-6 people tops)
  • The goal of this subgroup will be to review the concerns generated by both group meetings (5/20 & 11/4). We will then identify issues expressed and generate topics for a possible series of conversations to be held at the library.
  • Set meeting time/s for subgroup.

Evaluation/Feedback Responses:

What is one highlight from today’s session that you are taking forward?

  • The tremendous power of dialogue!
  • That several people I didn’t know attended
  • Community Dialogue
  • Sharing is healing
  • The enthusiasm for “next step”
  • That we shared values as well as differences
  • The importance of dialogue
  • That people with differences can communicate without hostility

After the sub-group meeting it was decided that a topic for our first community discussion would need to be more general and less polarizing. It was then suggested that a possible topic might be creating a community conversation to address the opioid crisis.