"Elevate the Conversation" series hosts Ken Tingley
Updated: Mar 21
From Mike Zagrobelny, the chair of the St. Lawrence County Democratic Committee:
“Elevate the Conversation,” a new speaker series sponsored by the St. Lawrence County Democratic Committee, is a response to the negative and polarizing tone of discussion about serious subjects that directly affect all residents in St. Lawrence County, regardless of political affiliation. Unfortunately, the rise of Twitter and other social media over the past decade has reduced most discussion of serious subjects to snarky one-liners, insulting labels, and misleading memes.
Some might argue that those derogatory labels and tasteless memes are limited to national figures and topics, and are nothing more than harmless fun. People may believe that the vitriol of social media does not penetrate the local experience in good old St. Lawrence County. Unfortunately, Tip O’Neil’s reminder that “all politics is local” is truer now more than ever. The proliferation of social media and the manipulation of disinformation are driving a wedge between neighbors. “Elevate the Conversation” is an attempt to remove that wedge by promoting civil conversation on serious subjects between neighbors.
Ken Tingley is the perfect guest to begin our series. Mr. Tingley has spent his professional life participating in and promoting community conversation on important topics. As retired longtime editor of the Glen’s Falls Post-Star, and chronicled in his book The Last American Newspaper, Ken led a staff that not only wrote of daily life in their community, but worked to shine a light on injustice, tragedy, and community improvement. The reporters were unafraid to raise controversial topics, and they often showed how life in a small town is directly connected to the outside world. Unlike most social media, the newspaper stories were fact-checked and vetted to ensure that truth was printed and opinion was clearly separated.
“Elevate the Conversation” is one step toward bridging the gaps that have grown between members of the St. Lawrence County community. It is an experiment with hopes of solving problems in our little corner of the world. Sponsored by the St. Lawrence County Democratic Committee, the event is open to all, and we invite you to suggest future speakers in the series.
We hope to see you, listen, and chat on Wednesday, March 22, at 6:00 p.m. at the NYSUT building at 59 Lawrence Avenue in Potsdam.