Area’s ‘Better Angels’ work to improve political discourse

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Amanda Valentovic, Essex New Daily

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The day after the 2016 presidential election, South Orange resident Andy Roth woke up feeling disappointed in the way discussions about the ballot had gone in the country.

“I had this awful feeling about people not being able to talk to each other,” Roth said in a phone interview with the News-Record on Nov. 15. “People were getting angry and defensive and I saw how easy it is to escalate into this anger.”

He wanted to find a way to improve discussions on those polarizing issues and talk to people who have different political opinions than he does. Soon he became involved with Better Angels, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that aims to unify “red” and “blue” voters by organizing events that teach them how to find common ground. Roth is a liberal moderator in the Summit chapter of Better Angels, along with Lisa Allen, his conservative counterpart.

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