Moving Beyond Polarization:
Making Politics Work
Update: Over 125 people came out for the Connecticut Alliance's first "Braver Politics" event! If you missed it, you can learn more and view a recording below.
A Discussion with Republican State Representative Stephen Harding & Democratic State Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey
Moderated by Braver Angels Co-Founder, Bill Doherty
A special online event demonstrating how two state representatives—one red, one blue—can communicate across differences and bridge the political divide.
In this first “Braver Politics” event in Connecticut, Braver Angels Co-Founder Bill Doherty engages our invited legislators in discussing life experiences that have influenced their policy views, how polarization has impacted government, and what can be done to address it. A Q&A follows the discussion.
Improve one’s understanding of the experiences, values, and beliefs of a member of the other political party
Discover areas of commonality and differences
Discuss current challenges in state politics
State Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey (Democrat) is serving her fourth term representing Fairfield's 133rd Assembly District. She is House Chair of the Planning and Development Committee and a member of the Government Administration and Elections and Transportation committees.
State Representative Stephen Harding (Republican) is serving in his fourth term representing the 107th Assembly District covering Brookfield and parts of Bethel and Danbury. He is the Ranking Member of the Legislature’s Environment Committee, a member of the Judiciary and the Education committees.
Bill Doherty, co-founder of Braver Angels is moderator of this discussion. He is the creator of the Braver Angels workshop approach and is a Professor and Director of the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project in the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota. His background combines expertise in family therapy and community engagement.
A Braver Politics Event
Moving Beyond Polarization was the Connecticut Alliance’s first "Braver Politics" event. Launched by Braver Angels in the spring of 2022, Braver Politics is a national initiative to depolarize our politics and remake our political culture from the ground up in a spirit of trust, citizenship, and goodwill. By fostering opportunities for elected officials, candidates, and their staffs to participate in Braver Angels programs with each other and with constituents, develop skills for communicating across difference, and build constructive relationships across partisan divides, Braver Politics will influence our politics at the local, state, and federal level going into the next election cycle and beyond. Braver Politics invites citizen volunteers, candidates, and elected officials to take part in their efforts.