Strategies for Contentious Conversations


Sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the  Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County, in response to widespread concerns that public and interpersonal communication is hampered during these hyper-political times, this forum was presented to League members and other interested persons. It aimed to educate and encourage people to communicate well and effectively when dealing with contentious issues. Addressing public policy issues and honing skills for constructive interpersonal dialogue will be covered as well as a practice session.  

This virtual event was held on November 4, 2021.  A video recording of this event can be viewed here. 

Panelists included:

    • Moderator: Senator Karen Fraser (Retired) – Democrat from the State Capitol area. Represented the 22nd Legislative District and served as Democratic Caucus Chair.
    • Representative Lynn Kessler (Retired) – Democrat from coastal Washington. Represented the 24th Legislative District. Served as House Democratic Caucus Leader. 
    • Senator Linda Parlette (Retired) – Republican from central Washington. Represented the 12th Legislative District. Served as Republican Caucus Leader and Republican Caucus Chair.

Facilitator: Jody M. Suhrbier - Executive Director, Dispute Resolution Center. Past President and Member of Resolution Washington. Executive Member of the Board of Directors: National Association for Community Mediation.  For more information about the DRC, go to Dispute Resolution Center (

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