Moving Forward/ Post-Election Community Panel

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    Update  11/23/16: Bill Bracco,  Republican Vice Mayor of Sahuarita Town Council will be replacing Todd Clodfelter on this panel.

    Moving Forward Panel (from Ward 6 Councilmember Steve Kozachik):

    “Now that the election is behind us, how might we move forward in a less hyper-partisan manner than what we just saw during the campaigns? And in what we see in the Brnovich decision on gun disposal? Catherine Tornbom of the Center for Community Dialogue and I have scheduled a public forum to talk about exactly that. When she and I were reflecting on the recent campaigns, and how ugly they became, we decided one thing we can do is to engage the public with elected officials to have an open dialogue on how we move forward, despite the tenor of the last 18 months. Because I believe the media has a role to play in setting the tone, and in accurately reporting events, I suggested we include them as well.

    On Monday, December 5th, from 6pm until 8pm we will gather at Temple Emanuel to talk about what just occurred, and how we move forward now that the election results are in. As I said to Catherine, there’s no sense in doing this if it’s not bi-partisan. I’ve invited newly elected State Representatives Kirsten Engel (D) and Todd Clodfelter (R) to sit on the panel. Mr. Clodfelter reconsidered due to a scheduling conflict after we had already booked the venue. As of this writing, I’m looking for a Republican replacement so the panel stays balanced. In addition, re-elected TUSD Board members Kristel Foster and Mark Stegeman will be taking part. And from the media I wanted someone who hosts a show from the left, and from the right. Taking those seats will be John C. Scott (1210am – M-F from 3pm until 5pm,) and Shaun McClusky (1030am – Saturday’s from 1pm until 3pm.) The general format will be my inviting each panel member to reflect on what they just went through, and to comment on what they see coming – and how they view their respective roles in tamping down the rhetoric.

    Then the audience will break out into small groups and answer pretty much those same topics and report back to the panelists how they (you ) want to see the politics of the day be expressed going forward. Panelists will then respond, and we’ll close the event. We don’t improve by separating ourselves from one another, regardless of how our politics may differ. I hope you can join us on the 5th and take part in this timely and important community conversation. Temple Emanuel is located at 225 N. Country Club. I’m very grateful to Rabbi Sam Cohon for opening his doors and hosting this event.”

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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).

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