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FOCUS St. Louis seeks to engage citizens from throughout the St. Louis region in a vigorous dialogue on a wide variety of community policy issues. At FOCUS, our role is that of neutral convener and facilitator: we do not take sides, but instead work to present the issues fairly and impartially, and to provide forums so that residents can participate in civil conversations.
Community Conversations, developed in partnership with the St. Louis Beacon, begin with discussion guides on various policy topics that are currently relevant to the St. Louis Region. Each discussion guide includes a description of the issues, background information, who else is involved with the issue, possible perspecfives on the issue, some discussion questions, and links for further reading.
The conversations take place online in the Community Conversations discussion forum. FOCUS also facilitates Dialogue & Drafts, face-to-face conversations held at various locations throughout the region on these topics. Announcements of Dialogue & Drafts events can be found on this page, as well as through the Community Conversations e-newsletter. FOCUS and the Beacon also encourage citizens to meet with friends and their own Community Conversations independently, and bringing the points discussed to the online forum or a Dialogue & Drafts event.
FOCUS and the Beacon ask that your onlonie comments and all Community Conversations be conducted according to the Guidelines for Civil Discourse. Finally, feel free to contact us if you have ideas about other topics you think we should explore.
There are a host of important issues facing the region. Too often, people become disengaged from their community because they lack time or knowledge on issues, and do not like the conflict that sometimes occurs when parties have differing views. FOCUS and the Beacon hope to provide opportunities for citizens to have thoughtful dialogues about the challenges facing the region. Working together, we can build a better future for our region, our communities, and ourselves.