Join the Voting Block: Host your Own Political Potluck

NJ Spotlight | August 18, 2017
Find out what matters to you and your neighbors this November

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What issues are most important to you and your neighbors this November? Taxes? Crime? Policing? Education? Here’s an opportunity for you to amplify your concerns and talk to your neighbors and others in your community about what matters most.

This November, New Jerseyans will choose a new governor without an incumbent in the race for the first time in 12 years. It’s a critical moment for the future of the state, and it comes at a time when Americans are deeply divided along ideological lines.

NJ Spotlight is among several news organizations across New Jersey participating in Voting Block, a collaboration of newsrooms working to bridge these political fissures and support more civil civic dialogue. We’re organizing “Political Potlucks” in neighborhoods across the Garden State to spark constructive conversations about politics ahead of the election. And we want you to be a part of it.

We like to think of them as block parties where you get to break the cardinal rule of dinner-party etiquette: you get to talk about politics.

The premise is simple: Invite your neighbors or friends to your house, favorite restaurant, or anywhere that can host a group meal. You can even host a conversation at your church, synagogue, or barbershop. Ask guests to bring their favorite dishes, fire up the grill or order in pizza. We will help you with the rest.

We’ve created a guide to help you host your own Political Potluck. It includes step-by-step instructions on how to organize your event and guide a conversation along five major discussion questions. By participating, you’ll inform our coverage of the governor’s race and spark healthier political discourse in the process.

Want to join? Just fill out this short form (you can also find it below) to host your own Political Potluck or join one near you.

Why host a Political Potluck?

Create more civil political discourse. The goal of these conversations isn’t to argue, but to listen, learn, and share your political beliefs and priorities with people from across the political spectrum.

Add your voice to our Voting Block coverage. We’ll feature insights from your Political Potluck with other conversations from across the state through an interactive map. Our newsrooms may also follow up with your group for their reporting.

Make your priorities heard. Voting Block newsrooms will compile your insights into a people’s agenda that we’ll deliver to the gubernatorial candidates before the election.

Get your questions answered. Our reporters will look for answers to questions that arise in your Political Potluck conversation and provide more coverage on the issues raised by your group.

Sign up to host or join

Take two minutes to fill out the form below and let us know if you’re interested in hosting or joining a Political Potluck. If you plan to be a host, we will send you the Political Potluck toolkit, which includes our guide and some Voting Block swag to sweeten the deal. We look forward to hearing about your conversation!

After your Political Potluck, we’ll ask you to share highlights from your discussion with our newsrooms through a quick survey. Your insights will help inform our reporting and will be featured with neighborhoods from across the state on our website and in a report we’ll create for the candidates.

You can follow our ongoing Voting Block coverage and hear insights from other Political Potlucks on our website, and on Twitter by following the #votingblocknj hashtag.