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Republican and Democratic lawmakers will discuss differences in Rantoul on Thursday

Flags are placed on the National Mall, with the U.S. Capitol behind them, ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, in Washington.

RANTOUL –  Braver Angels Illinois, the non-profit organization that works to bridge the divide in the political climate, is holding an event to bring Democratic and Republican voters together for a civil discussion.

On Wednesday, June 28 at 5:30 p.m., Braver Angels will hold a Bipartisan Constituent Conversation at Rantoul Township High School.

For the first time, they have invited state officials to the event to feature Democratic State Senator Paul Faraci and Republican State Representative Mike Marron to engage in productive discussions. 

“Our goal is to facilitate the conversation because so often, we are starting to kind of self-segregated to our own like-minded groups,” said Matt Hausman, the “red-leaning” state coordinator. 

“It’s great to have Senator Faraci, and Representative Maron involved in this, because they already have a little bit of a working relationship, they have mutual respect for one another,” said Hausman.

He said the majority of politicians and constituents are open to having healthy discussions, but their voices get drowned out. 

“Part of the problem and is a lot of our politics, the oxygen is sucked up by the people who do the yelling and screaming, point fingers and yell about the other side,” said Hausman.

He said this is a safe space for their voices to be heard. They will cover two topics of conversation during the course of the two hour long event: our divisive politics and how we can come together to get things done and workforce development in Rantoul and northern Champaign County.

So far 25 people are expected to attend. Hausman said that they are aiming for a more intimate gathering – to ensure productive conversations. 

Attendees will be split into groups, while Sen. Faraci and Rep. Marron walk around to listen and join in. 

Hausman said they are starting small and starting with people who are more willing in hopes to attract different kinds of people to their cause. 

Picture of Mae Antar

Mae Antar

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