upper waypoint

Start the Conversation: Reaching Common Ground Across Political Divides

Save ArticleSave Article
Failed to save article

Please try again

 (Illustration by Mark Fiore)

For a new series we're calling "Start the Conversation," we listen in on pairs of Californians who have very different opinions on issues, but who also want to find common ground.

They're civil dialogues, not debates -- and we hope they're a way to try to bridge some of the big divides between us in this politically charged time.

Start the Conversation: Kimball Allen and Mike Simpfenderfer

Start the Conversation: Kimball Allen and Mike Simpfenderfer

Our first segment took place as we chatted with Californians in Washington, D.C., for President Trump's inauguration.

We listened as Kimball Allen and Mike Simpfenderfer chatted with each other on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial.


Kimball is a gay man who attended the inauguration week protests with his husband. Mike is a father of four, and a Trump delegate who came to watch the inaugural celebration.


Want to participate?

Fill out our contact form below and let us know what issues are important to you, or what kinds of conversations you want to hear.

A radio producer may get in touch and invite you to record your conversation with another Californian who has different opinions, but who may share something in common with you, too. We're producing these conversations all across California, so remember to let us know the name of your town.

lower waypoint
next waypoint
Paleontologists Discover 240-Million-Year-Old 'Dragon' Fossil in Full'Everybody Is Just Scrambling': Nationwide Cyber Attack Delays Bay Area Pharmacy OrdersMacy's to Close Flagship San Francisco Union Square StoreCrowds (and Dragons) Pack Chinatown for San Francisco's Chinese New Year ParadePerformance Reviews are Underperforming. What Should Replace Them?Proposition A: Why SF Is Asking Voters For a $300 Million Affordable Housing BondA Growing ‘Right to Repair’ Culture in CaliforniaCharles Duhigg's “Supercommunicators” Breaks Down How to Talk Better and Forge ConnectionsHow to Correct a Mistake on Your Ballot for the 2024 California Primary ElectionTommy Orange’s ‘Wandering Stars’ Examines the Legacy and Consequences of Cultural Erasure