Who We Are

We are the Civilized Conversation discussion club of San Diego! Our goal is to revive the lost art of thoughtful conversation. We are also a diverse group of people from different parts of the political spectrum and varying backgrounds.  Yet, we believe that it is possible to discuss controversial topics — politics, public affairs, even religion and philosophy — honestly and respectfully as well as passionately.  We talk, listen, learn, and have fun.

What we do –  

We gather together for an evening of respectful, animated, intelligent conversation. We have weekly meetings on scheduled topics, opened with a brief introduction by our moderator, DavidG, or other members or invited speakers. We follow with a roundtable discussion by all present and sometimes finish with a round-table on current events.

When and Where

Currently we are a Zoom collective.  In non-pandemic decades we meet every Monday evening from 7pm to 9pm at the Panera Café, 5620 Balboa Ave, at the Genesee intersection.  We invite you to come enrich our discussions with your presence and viewpoints.



12 responses

  1. This is an odd way to reach out, but it’s what I’ve got. I saw your ad in CityBeat and dropped by this webpage. If you’d like to relieve some of the administrative frustrations and have a dedicated weekly space, I’d love to talk to you about making Civilized Conversation a mainstay on the NPCA’s blog. The NPCA is an all volunteer group of about 300 neighbors around North Park. It’s run by a Board of Directors. We host summer concerts, clean up graffiti, connect neighbors and generally try to help make all of North Park a safe, walkable, friendly place to be. Anyway, if you are willing to talk, I’d love to.

  2. Just heard about your group in the Reader. I’ve become somewhat of an advocate of bringing back conversation in public places. It would seem that most people in the “coffee/tea houses” I frequent are wired…either to their phones, lap tops, I-pads, I-tunes, etc., making it almost impossible to start a friendly conversation with them. I live in Rancho Bernardo…are there any like minded people that interested in forming a “Civilized Conversation” in North County? (Feel free to contact me by email or on my website)
    In the meantime, I plan to attend your next get together.
    Larry Githens

  3. I saw the piece in The Reader and was hoping to make contact with someone regarding support of high school speech and debate. The San Diego Imperial Valley Speech League holds tournaments throughout the county, throughout the school year and we are always in need of judges. We are done for this school year, but I’m wondering if there would be a way to disseminate information regarding next year’s tournaments to your group so they could volunteer, if they’d like. Thank you in advance.

    1. Just send it to me. I’ll email you. I was a speech team guy at Helix in the late 1970s. It was Chris D’gataeno’s first year teaching.

  4. Hi All,

    I think this is the same group I used to attend between 2004-2007. Well, the one I attended was really good. I really enjoyed it. It used to be held at the Living Room coffee house but that place lost its rental contract, etc. So, it got moved to this location. I am currently in Kuwait. Would like to reconnect with this group. I am planning on coming out to Arizona and California. If I am in San Diego I will definately drop in for your discussions. Take care.

  5. David:
    Much as I like the topic of your next meeting, the date conflicts with another monthly meeting which I have an obligation to attend.

  6. I regret missing this particular meeting because the topic seems so vital. Congress occasionally summons Ben Bernanke and has even been known to summon the President to testify. Why not summon either the Supreme Court or the Chief Justice? Congressmen should be able to ask those responsible for the Citizens United decision how Congress can now go about preventing people with money from having undue influence over legislation. I should think our court would share that goal as much as typical citizens since its charter is to help ensure justice and fairness. Art

    1. Art! I tried to e-mail you but I appear to have copied it down wrong. Can you leave an e-mail address for me in the comments? Or you can e-mail me at aaronmayfieldsunshine@gmail.com and that is sure to give me the correct e-mail address.

      1. Aaron, I just emailed you Art’s number.

  7. James H. Zimmerman | Reply

    I don’t think there is any precedent for summoning Supreme Court justices to testify, after their confirmation hearings. Is there?

    1. Not that I’ve heard of. Not presidents or VPs, either. I don’t think that one co-equal branch of govt can summon the head of another to appear before it

      A lot of precedents were broken in the Clinton impeachment, but not that one.

  8. Where/when do you meet?

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