Democracy in America

democracyBanner

Beginning this May, the Mt. Lebanon Public Library, the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh and the Denis Theatre Foundation will be collaborating to provide a non-partisan series of events on the theme of Democracy in America.

Periodically, often amidst crisis, Americans reconsider the status of their democratic institutions. Today is such a time, characterized by deep levels of polarization, distrust of government and most institutions, and the fraying of civil society, along with fear and uncertainty that leads to growing acceptance of the use of violence to achieve political ends. How can American citizens work together to strengthen our democratic institutions? In this series we will examine the roots of how the concept of democracy was established in United States and how it has been interpreted and challenged through the centuries, and reflect upon what core principles need to be sustained for its continuance. We hope to provide both local and national examples throughout the series, with ample opportunity for discussion and reflection.

The series will include a mix of local citizens and professional speakers, some with national name-recognition. It is designed to be accessible to people from middle school to our most senior citizens. We hope to engage people in dialogue, with questions and comments occurring at the end of each session.

The series begins with a soft opening focused on local politics, addressing the Mt. Lebanon School Board primary in May 2021. It picks back up in September, addressing the issue of voting rights, and then continues through the summer of 2022.

The Mt. Lebanon Public Library will maintain this webpage that will include information for upcoming events in the series, as well as for related local events and resources to support civic engagement. We will be sending out regular e-newsletters to promote upcoming events and new resources. Expect a good deal of communication with the lead-up to the May 18th primary elections.

  1. Upcoming Programs
  2. Recorded Programs
  3. Voting Information
  4. Additional Resources

Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts--PA Court of Common Pleas and Magisterial Elections Overview

Our Democracy in America Series, a collaborative nonpartisan program series sponsored by the Mt. Lebanon Public Library, League of Women Voters Pittsburgh and the Denis Theatre Foundation is partnering with Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, to provide an introduction to Pennsylvania's Court of Common Pleas and Magisterial Elections. This program will describe the impact justices elected to these offices have on the lives of Pennsylvanians as well as provide valuable information on evaluating justice candidates prior to the November elections. Representatives from Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts as well as a local county representative will work together to present this program. 

Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts ("PMC"), a nonpartisan nonprofit, envisions a Pennsylvania judicial system in which everyone who participates is assured impartiality, fairness, accessibility and respect

PMC works tirelessly to educate all Pennsylvanians about our courts and how to navigate them with confidence, provide resources to make that possible for all residents of the Commonwealth, and advocate for judicial reforms that promote inclusion and access to justice. We engage in a wide variety of initiatives to accomplish these goals and are constantly developing new programming based on community feedback.-Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts

This is a virtual program. Registration with email is required. A Zoom link to the program will be sent to you at 6 PM the day of the program. Register here.

Braver Angels Collaboration:

SEPARATE Communication Skills Workshops for those “Leaning Red” and those “Leaning Blue.” 

Two separate, free Braver Angels workshops held simultaneously on Monday, October 18, 7 – 9:00 pm BLUE WORKSHOP Communication Skills for Bridging the Political Divide Workshop (for Blue-Leaning Attendees) Mon, October 18, 2021, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT, on Zoom.  Register here.

About this separate “blue-leaning” event: There's a lot of stress these days among family members and friends who are divided politically, and the current polarized public conversation doesn't help. This workshop is for blue-leaning folks (i.e, people who lean liberal or progressive philosophically or tend to vote for Democrats) who are interested in having better conversations with people on the other side of the political aisle. You will learn and practice skills for having respectful conversations that clarify differences, search for common ground, and affirm the importance of the relationship. See below for general information. Questions? Contact Lindy Ferriss at lferriss@braverangels.org 

RED WORKSHOP Communication Skills for Bridging the Political Divide Workshop (for Red-Leaning Attendees) Mon, October 18, 2021, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT, on Zoom. Register here.

About this separate “red-leaning” event: There's a lot of stress these days among family members and friends who are divided politically, and the current polarized public conversation doesn't help. This workshop is for red-leaning folks (i.e, people who lean conservative philosophically or tend to vote for Republicans) who are interested in having better conversations with people on the other side of the political aisle. You will learn and practice skills for having respectful conversations that clarify differences, search for common ground, and affirm the importance of the relationship. See below for general information. Questions? Contact Lindy Ferriss at lferriss@braverangels.org General Information relative to both workshops: This free workshop does the following: • Provides knowledge about what it takes to have constructive, non-polarizing conversations between people who disagree politically • Gives you the chance to practice these skills to have these conversations • Motivates you to have these conversations with people in your social network This is a two-part workshop combining an online eLearning course and an online, interactive workshop offered over Zoom. 1. Part one consists of a 40 minute, interactive course. You complete this online before the workshop. 2. Part two is practicing what you've learned in a 90 minute, online workshop. You will practice the listening and speaking skills in a pair with someone of your own political persuasion. 

Questions? Contact Lindy Ferriss at lferriss@braverangels.org Local Hosts Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP) - Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) - Casa San Jose - Center for Loving Kindness of the JCC PGH - Christian Associates of Southwest PA - Emmanuel Reformed Church of the United Church of Christ, Export PA - Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh: Community Relations Council - League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh (LWVPGH) - Mt. Lebanon Public Library – Democracy in America Series - Social Justice Institutes at Carlow University (SJI) - YWCA Greater Pittsburgh