Common Ground Committee Public Forums are high-profile discussions which illustrate how areas of mutual interest or agreement become evident when participants move away from “talking points” to thoughtful dialogue.

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July 9 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

It’s Time for a Frank Conversation: Chris Shays & Barney Frank

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Explore how a polarized Congress can get back to doing the people’s work. Common Ground Committee, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering civil public discourse in politics, was honored to partner with co-host The Nantucket Project to welcome former Members of Congress Barney Frank and Christopher Shays to Irvington, NY. As groundbreaking Democratic and Republican representatives, Chairman Frank and Congressman Shays have firsthand experience in advancing bipartisan legislation. In this honest conversation, two veteran legislators shared an inside look at how…

March 19

Finding Common Ground on America’s Role in the World

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On Tuesday, March 19 Common Ground Committee hosted its 10th public forum, which brought together former Secretaries of State John Kerry (Democrat) and Condoleezza Rice (Republican) at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. The forum was titled “Finding Common Ground on America’s Role in the World”. Tickets became available 30 days before the event and were gone in 30 minutes. Watch the highlights: During the forum, Kerry and Rice came to points of consensus on the…

August 18, 2018

Conversation: A Doctor’s Dilemma: Race, Violence and Medicine

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On August 7th, 2018, Texas Trauma surgeon Dr. Brian Williams was the featured speaker at our joint event with The Nantucket Project.  Dr. Brian Williams,  who treated police officers shot at a 2016 protest in Dallas, spoke to more than 50 guests. Dr. Williams shared his own experiences with discrimination.  He said healing is possible if we have conversations and genuinely listen to each other.  Common Ground Committee President Bruce Bond led the discussion and interviewed Dr. Brian Williams before an extended audience…

April 22, 2018

Public Forum: Finding Common Ground on Government’s Role In Bridging Racial Divides

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On April 22, 2018, Common Ground Committee at The Haven in Charlottesville, Va presented our ninth public forum. Our panelists were Donna Brazile and Michael Steele. Moderating the forum was Wendi C. Thomas from The Christian Science Monitor. We are a citizen-led nonprofit organization focused on “Bringing Light Not Heat To Public Discourse.” We have no partisan political agenda and guard our financial independence.   Partnering with us for this event was the international, multi-Pulitzer Prize winning publication The Christian…

October 11, 2017

Public Forum: Finding Common Ground For Economic Opportunity In The Trump Era

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Common Ground Committee held its eighth public forum on Wednesday, October 11th to a capacity crowd at Middlebury College to “Find Common Ground on Economic Opportunity in the Trump Era.” Panelists featured were former Democratic Congressman Barney Frank (MA), and former Republican Governor of New Hampshire and White House Chief of Staff for George H.W. Bush, John Sununu The political science department at Middlebury College and Common Ground Committee together with The Christian Science Monitor co-presented the event. Gail Chaddock,…

September 2, 2017

Conversation: Talking without Shouting

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Video  The Common Ground Committee partnered with The Nantucket Project in Greenwich, Connecticut to host a Public Forum on civility in the public space. Media Coverage Nantucket Project Packs its Headquarters for Panel Discussion On Civility - Greenwich Free Press Greenwich discussion focuses on civility - Greenwich Time Event Gallery

July 31, 2016

Public Forum: Finding Common Ground On Taxes

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Short video: Watch substantive agreement emerge between the honorable Barney Frank and Larry Kudlow during Common Ground Committee’s seventh public forum, “Finding Common Ground on Taxes”! Common Ground Committee held its seventh public forum on Sunday, July 31 on the topic, “Finding Common Ground on Taxes.” The forum took place at the Unitarian Meeting House in historic Nantucket, Massachusetts. The Honorable Barney Frank (D-MA), a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives debated Larry Kudlow, radio host and CNBC…

October 27, 2014

Public Forum: Finding Common Ground on Income Inequality

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On October 27. 2014 at the 92nd St. Y in New York City, Larry Kudlow and Jared Bernstein offered different perspectives on the causes of widening income inequality and what policy actions might alleviate the problem and strengthen the American economy for the benefit of all its citizens. The audience was treated to two individuals who debated passionately, did not compromise on principles and yet actively worked for, and found, substantive points of agreement. Larry Kudlow and Jared Bernstein provided a…

December 8, 2013

Public Forum: Finding Common Ground on Entitlement Reform

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Our growing national debt requires honest, substantive discussions about entitlement reform. The core drivers of the debt are entitlement spending, mainly Medicare and Social Security, and a more rapidly aging population. To dissect the complex issues and explore possible solutions in a spirit of civility, former Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell and former Senator Judd Gregg participated in a public forum in June 2013. Monitor editor John Yemma served as moderator while Monitor Washington correspondent Gail Chaddock laid out the framework…

June 3, 2013

Public Forum: Finding Common Ground – Then & Now

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In a December 2013 public forum, former senior advisor to President Reagan David Gergen and former staffer to House Speaker Tip O’Neill Chris Matthews shared stories and insights about the two political rivals. They illustrate how the shared experiences and personal relationships between the two were the keys to finding points of agreement in resolving major issues. The event was moderated by Christian Science Monitor editor, John Yemma. The history of bipartisan compromise between President Reagan and Tip O’Neill couldn’t…

February 12, 2012

Public Forum: Rethinking Taxes

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The goal was to debate the facts with the ultimate challenge of identifying points of consensus without compromising core principles. What they agreed upon might surprise you. Here are their areas of common ground:   The current tax system is too complex. We need a simple, fair tax code. Currently there are too many loopholes and too much incentive for tax avoidance. We need to raise revenues. Higher tax revenues are necessary in order to reduce the debt, even if…

June 7, 2011

Public Forum: China – Threat or Opportunity?

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The U.S – China relationship is complex and of increasingly enormous importance as China’s economic and military power continues to grow. Some experts believe we are headed toward deepening cooperation, stability, and peace while others argue the relationship will be marked by deterioration, global competition and ultimate conflict. In 2011 The Common Ground Committee held its second public panel discussion entitled, “China: Threat or Opportunity.” The event was moderated by John Yemma, editor of the Christian Science Monitor, and brought…

October 25, 2010

Public Forum: What is the Role of Government in the Nation’s Economy?

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Liberals argue that government intervention can promote economic advancement and that regulations are critical for the protection of society. Conservatives on the other hand, complain that the U.S. economy can’t be a free market with government intervention and that regulation and taxation only stifles economic growth and opportunity. In an effort to explore whether agreement can be found on this enduring argument, the Common Ground Committee, a non-profit group dedicated to changing our culture by promoting civil discourse on controversial…

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