Indivisibles hear from elected officials staff

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The Idyllwild Indivisibles met again Monday, March 6, this time at Buckhorn Camp. At this meeting, guests from Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s and Rep. Dr. Raul Ruiz’s staffs spoke. Also speaking on how to build bridges between differing opinions were locals Dave Dillon and Mary Morse.

Andy Colgan attended on behalf of Ruiz. While he did not take any direct questions, he did state that Ruiz was trying to schedule a meeting in the Idyllwild area later this spring or year. He also mentioned that Ruiz has been appointed to the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, which has jurisdiction over some of the health-care legislation.

To the people attending, Colgan said, “These groups are all over the district. The enthusiasm is really great.”

Next, Peter Muller, deputy state director for Feinstein, spoke to the group about how to become more involved and engaged in the political process. He also noted the “commitment of people to be involved, I’ve never seen before. It’s really encouraging.”

In response to a question, Muller stated that a letter, facsimile or phone call are all treated the same. Collectively, they send a message to the recipient.

The presentations from Dillon and Morse were the substantive portion of the meeting. In different ways, they addressed the issue of how to bridge the opinion gap between people in order to reach cooperation and achieve local goals.

Dillon’s Government 101 was titled “The Three D’s: Debate, Dialogue and Deliberation.” While debate can be healthy, Dillon noted that its result is a “winner and loser.” Its purpose is advocacy. Discussion is a communication style. There can be pros and cons, but the result is typically no action.

But deliberation leads to a decision based on the facts and finding common goals. Its result is integration. This occurs from assessing and evaluating together the options, and finding places of possible joint action.

Morse, from Idyllwild’s Spirit Mountain Retreat, also spoke to communication styles and how different styles can impede or promote building a bridge.

“One of the most important things we can do is listen — deep listening,” she emphasized. This is the means to compassion for others and understanding their truths, she stated.

Noting that creativity is the border between chaos and order was where Morse ended.

Before the meeting ended, there was a brief discussion of the possibility that the group might revive the annual Earth Fair in Idyllwild as one of its projects.

From II’s Facebook page: “Idyllwild Indivisible is a concerned group of locals dedicated to the advancement of sustainable economic, environmental, and social justice.”

At the conclusion, Janice Murasko announced that the next meeting would be 6 p.m. Thursday, April 20, at Town Hall.

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