Ep 19: Discussion on polarization, civics, libraries, and where we go from here at the South Orange Public Library

Rethinking with Alex Torpey
Rethinking with Alex Torpey
Ep 19: Discussion on polarization, civics, libraries, and where we go from here at the South Orange Public Library
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Join former mayor, municipal manager, professor, and consultant Alex Torpey for another episode of Rethinking.

This is a special episode. What follows is a discussion I had with Laura Sims at the South Orange Public Library as part of their Special Conversations series, that I am sharing here with permission. 

In the one hour zoom talk, we covered a wide range of topics, such as: current political polarization and how traditional and social media platforms makes that worse while at the same time benefiting from it, how we addressed toxic online culture in South Orange nearly 10 years ago now, and how engaging people through more constructive means helped us build public trust and make better decisions, the opportunity for libraries to build civic infrastructure, the benefits of helping young people think about running for office as a service term, not a career, why science fiction is so cool, the joys of working outdoors with kids, and much more. 

The South Orange Public Library always has a special place in my heart. After college, as I was starting to write for our local newspaper and join the Rescue Squad, I was appointed to the public library board and had a really great time working with that group over the next couple years before running for office. Anyway, it’s a fun conversation and I hope you enjoy it.

You may also enjoy Episode 11, the discussion with Steve Schnall, a former governing body member in South Orange. In it, we dive into a lot more detail about a few of the things that were touched in this talk about how we engaged the public more transparently and constructively and made better decisions in South Orange. You can find that here: https://rethinkingwithalextorpey.com/podcast/ep-11-bonus-discussion-with-steve-schnall-on-good-governance-in-south-orange/

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Alex Torpey

From serving as mayor (non party affiliated) of his hometown of South Orange at age 23, a municipal business administrator, founder of a digital consulting firm, an emergency management director and volunteer EMT, and as a graduate level adjunct professor, management consultant, mentor and speaker, Alex Torpey brings together his uniquely diverse experiences to help provide us a platform to rethink the future of our communities, our republic, and ourselves.