The Candidates' Conversations Project (Version 4.19)

Background for Project
How Does the Project Work?
List of Conversation Topics

The Candidates' Conversation Project is designed to support you in having a meaningful, powerful conversation with anyone asking for your vote.

The conversations will create a supportive relationship between yourself and someone running for public office.

The project is sponsored by Community Communications (ComCom) a nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational organization. ComCom presents educational experiences in support of mutually satisfying communication mastery.

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Background for Project:

Most people share a sense of hopelessness, even futility, at the thought of having a truthful conversation with a politician. Polls rank politicians close to used car dealers in honesty. Perceptions persist that it's next to impossible to have the experience of communication, of really being heard, understood and supported by the Governor, a Senator or a Mayor, yet elected officials, for the most part, honestly and sincerely believe they are in-communication with us. The kinds of conversations we've been having only produce more-of-the-same. In truth our servants mirror our own communication skills.

The conversations we have prior to an election create the context for all that follows until the next election. We have the ability to generate new conversations. Not the same old ones, but meaningful conversations that allow us to experience creating long-lasting mutually supportive relationships with our elected officials. It is possible, through communication, as opposed to talking, to experience an elected official as being trustworthy, honest and having integrity.

The Candidates' Conversations Project addresses a barrier to the fulfillment of the desire to make a difference. It acknowledges feelings of futility, of powerlessness, of hopelessness when it comes to experiencing the experience of communication with each and every elected official. The project is designed to facilitate open, honest and responsible communications with our political candidates who ultimately, if elected, we entrust to act in our behalf. The project allows one to confront, to be-with through-to-comfort, the barrier of uncomfortableness that comes from asking another just where they stand about basic questions of ethics, integrity and morality.

Kerrith H. (Kerry) King
Communication-Skills Coach
President, Community Communications



How does the project work?

The Candidates' Conversations Project works like this.

Read the list of thirty-three (33) conversation topics, concerns, issues and affirmations.

Find the ones that are important to you. You'll notice that you agree with some things on the list and disagree with others. Make a printout and add your own concerns to the list.

When a candidate asks for your vote—

1) Ask them if they'd be willing to go over a list of concerns with you.

2) Hand them the list or read it to them.

Ask where they stand about the things that are important to you.

The concerns, agreements, issues and affirmations are written to stimulate conversations that will make a difference. In order to make a difference you must be willing to experience uncomfortableness at first.




It's best if you print out a copy. Then place a checkmark alongside the concerns, issues, and affirmations, that are important to you. Leave the others unmarked.

When a candidate asks for your vote, hand them your list and ask them where they stand about your issues.

Let them know that if they agree to honor those concerns, issues and affirmations that are important to you—they get your vote.



List of Conversation Topics:

— 1.

I am willing to be supported in keeping my agreements, telling the truth and communicating openly and honestly through-to-mutual-satisfaction. This includes asking someone who asks me a question, "Did I answer your question?"

— 2.

When you call to talk or make an appointment with me you will not be asked or required to disclose to the secretary what you want to talk with me about. Otherwise you might think I am putting you off, that I don't like you or the subject matter.

— 3.

I will have posted on my office door the periods of time each week during which I will be available for constituent-scheduled 15 minute appointments. The total time set aside each week for constituent scheduled appointments to be not less than 7 hours per week. I will not make other agreements/appointments during these times, except for emergencies.

— 4.

I will vote to stop roadside herbicide spraying.

— 5.

I will have a fixed one-hour period each week designated for personal communications. During this time anyone may come in and deliver any verbal communication they wish, up to two minutes long. Before they begin I will ask if they'd like a two-minute response from me. I will remain silent and not interrupt them as they deliver their communication. If they wish a response I may respond for up to two minutes and they will remain silent. Then they may have two more minutes to say what they need to say, during which time I will again listen and not say anything. The whole process, even if it includes a requested response, will not take more than 6 minutes. Longer conversations may be handled during the above mentioned constituent scheduled 15 minute appointments.

— 6.

You have my word that all written communications to me will be acknowledged within three working days of its receipt. Acknowledged in this context means that you will be informed, by me or a staff member, through a post card, that your communication has been received. The post card will have the date (not later than) you can expect a complete response to be in the mail. I will also have one other person read and initial your letter and my response to insure that your consideration has been addressed completely.

— 7.

I will make known, to anyone who wishes to know, the source of any information I receive about anyone. In other words I am unwilling to hear things which I must keep secret.

— 8.

You have my word that before I vote in favor of a pay raise for any elected/appointed public servant I will make certain that no-less-than 90% of the public school employees approve.

— 9.

I will communicate in support of open and honest communications, as opposed to "Sting" operations, in our Police Department. I acknowledge that lying, withholding the truth, or deceit for any reason teaches our children that deceit is OK.

— 10.

I will vote "No" to the construction of any building higher than that which our fire truck ladders can reach. The same applies to any amendment in favor of higher building heights.

— 11.

I will not participate in any meetings that are closed to the public.

— 12.

I and my immediate family members will attend at least two communication workshops/consultations each year. I will have as policy that my staff do the same.

— 13.

I will communicate to implement the West Point Code of Honor within our police department.

The present unwritten code supports rookies and veteran officers alike in remaining silent if they notice a fellow officer committing an infraction of the rules. Anyone breaking this "code of silence" by bringing an infraction to the attention of the perpetrator or a senior officer is branded a troublemaker or a snitch (a Serpico) and is shunned.

The West Point Code of Honor requires every cadet to confront anyone breaking a rule, including the academy staff officers, and communicate in support of the rule-breaker reporting themselves. If the rule-breaker refuses, the cadet communicates that they have no choice but to report them. If the cadet fails to report the rule-breaker, both the cadet and the rule-breaker are dismissed from the academy.

— 14.

I will communicate in support of police chief applicants, for the Big Island, disclosing to their present chief, that they are about to apply for the position of Big Island Police Chief. And, that the name of any police chief applicant be made public immediately upon receipt of the application.

The present policy supports a police chief applicant deceiving his/her present superiors. It communicates that deception is acceptable if the reason is good enough. It also precludes an applicant's neighbors and fellow officers from writing us her/his recommendations for or against a candidate.

— 15.

I will campaign for a policy requiring developers to get agreement from the residents of the district of their proposed project, prior to submitting the project to the governing approval agencies. Agreement in this context means a signed petition/survey conducted throughout the proposed project's district. Voting constituents may record being for or against the project.

— 16.

If I hear myself speaking negatively about another behind their back I agree to communicate, through-to-mutual-satisfaction, to the absent person what I was saying about them and to let the original listener/co-conspirator of the badmouthing know when I have done so.

— 17.

If someone begins to badmouth another to me I will stop that person and ask if they have told the absent party what they are telling me. If they haven't, I will ask, "Are you willing to do so?"

— 18.

I will always vote "No" to the importation or visitation to the Big Island of any nuclear or radioactive material (other than small amounts already acceptable-- such as in fluorescent lights, fire alarms, watches, medical instruments etc.). I will let it be known that I will resign my office if I am out-voted.

__ 19.

I will vote "No" or decline to vote for any project that will affect the security, health, privacy or serenity of my constituents.

For instance; I would vote "No" or decline to vote on a Geothermal Project if a constituent of mine let me know they oppose the venture for any reason. Another example is; I do not support the Helicopter Tour Industry because the peace and serenity of some of the voters and wildlife alike are disturbed. I do support helicopters being used for emergencies, rescue, fire, construction, science, and authorized film projects.

__ 20.

I will campaign for a program in which welfare recipients must complete a designated number of hours per week of community work (the work hours to equal minimum wage for the dollar value of benefits).

__ 21.

I will communicate in favor of personal responsibility, as opposed to the money incentive/reward program, for citizens assisting police in locating wanted persons. I believe that citizens should do so without being paid.

__ 22.

I will vote to have mandatory that all education professionals attend an annual communication workshop.

— 23.

It is my intention that the names of all welfare recipients be published monthly in the newspaper—listing the amounts, in all categories, they receive each month, to include the number of months they have been receiving benefits. In this way all community members can support recipients in being self sufficient.

— 24.

I will support everyone in keeping their relationships clean with everyone. "Clean" in this context means all upsets, withholds and acknowledgments delivered in a way that feels good for all concerned upon completion.

— 25.

I will vote "No" to the importation of bees from any outside source—this includes not allowing airplanes with bee cargoes to land at our airport.

— 26.

I will vote in favor of legislation to prevent flight noise from disturbing the serenity of those below. I agree, if it can be heard it disturbs.

— 27.

I will make myself and my staff available for any constituent who is having problems getting answers or results from any county, state or federal agency.

— 28.

I will ensure that anyone who calls my office who doesn't have food or a place to sleep that night shall be provided with food and a place to sleep.

— 29.

I will publish monthly a list of all the written and verbal concerns and considerations communicated to me and the number of people who voiced each concern. i.e. Twelve people voiced concern about low flying noisy helicopters.

— 30.

I will vote "No" to any form of Space Port on the Big Island.

— 31.

I will vote "No" to off-shore mining.

— 32.

I will vote "No" to the exportation of electric power from our island.

— 33.

I will ask of a developer, wanting my support/vote, to conduct their own door to door community survey/petition so as to prove to me that they have community support for their project, this, before they submit any applications.


The candidate will let you know which topics/agreements they are willing to support.


Add your own concerns:

Please post your feedback/comments in our Message Drop (registration required)

Send your concerns and we'll add them to the list above.

Press the Of Value button if you find this project to be of value. When you press the button you are taken to the top of this page.

(feel free to make copies)

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