Saturday, June 15, 2024

Community Conversations

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Stratford Community Conversations Extended Through June 2024

By Greg Reilly, Moderator

Stratford Community Conversations, the independent program that launched in April and brings a cross-section of the public together every three weeks to talk about local issues, has set its meeting schedule and venues through June 2024.

“We have had eight nonprofit organizations and churches generously host the Conversations meetings; they are happy to support assembling the public for civil, neighborly discourse about contemporary local issues,” said organizer and moderator Greg Reilly. “There is an appetite for this type of local community gathering, in-person, which can help to overcome the national trend toward intolerance of opposing views, political polarization, rudeness, and hiding behind social media platforms. I am grateful and pleased that the Stratford community has generously welcomed this new program.”

The program runs Wednesdays 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. The upcoming dates and venues are:

Nov 15: Sterling House Community Center, 2283 Main Street

Dec. 6: Our Lady of Peace Church, 651 Stratford Road

Jan. 10: Grace Lutheran Church, 150 Chapel Street

Jan. 31: First Congregational Church, 2301 Main Street

Feb. 21: To be announced

Mar. 13: Sterling House Community Center, 2283 Main Street

April 3: Unitarian Universalist Church, 275 Huntington Road

April 24: Stratford United Methodist Church, 2600 Main Street

May 15: Stratford Library, 2203 Main Street

June 5: Unitarian Universalist Church, 275 Huntington Road

June 26: Our Lady of Peace Church, 651 Stratford Road

Over the first eight meetings, the number of attendees ranged from 25 to 55 people. Topics are up to the attendees and have included: road safety, mental health support for students, business development, Stratford’s museums, homelessness, local media, Town Hall meetings, land use in Lordship, Shakespeare property redevelopment, and early voting.

Purpose

“The goal of the program,” Reilly said, “is to bring neighbors together, increase knowledge, and build trust and collaboration. When the exchange of ideas leads to action, however small the step may be, I feel like we have accomplished something positive.”

All Stratford residents, businesspeople, community leaders, government leaders and staff are invited. Attendees may simply listen or join the discussion. There is no charge to attend.

For more information, contact resident and moderator Greg Reilly at GPReilly@optonline.net.

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