Common Ground Initiative

The Common Ground Initiative is The Westport Library’s forum for public discourse on topical issues of importance to the community.

The aim of the initiative is to: host a positive, productive conversation on how we work together to move forward as a civil society; encourage respectful, constructive dialogue; and build capacity to tackle challenging and/or controversial issues.

Common Ground Committee

The program planning for the initiative is led by The Westport Library in conjunction with community leaders representing a wide array of constituents and ideological standpoints. Here is a closer look at our committee members:

Harold Bailey Jr.
Chair, TEAM Westport & Chair, Civilian Review Panel
Mia Bomback
Staples High School Student
Ifeseyi Gayle
MPA, Board of Assessment Appeals
Alex Giannini
Associate Director, Program and Events
Sheri Gordon, Esq.
Chair, Yes She Can, Inc. & Former Chair, Westport Board of Finance
Bill Harmer
Executive Director, Westport Library
Jennifer Keller
Programming Coordinator, Westport Library
Jim Marpe
Former Westport First Selectman
Anjali McCormick
Executive Director, Westport Weston YMCA
Brian McGunagle
President and Founder, Westport Pride
Jay Norris
CEO and Co-Founder, Guesst Software & Westport Library Trustee
Steve Parrish
Founder, Steve Parrish Consulting Group, LLC
Robin Powell
Acting Development Director, Westport Library
Adam Vengrow
Managing Director, Stifel & Board Member, Catch A Lift Fund
Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn
The Conservative Synagogue & President, Interfaith Clergy Association of Westport and Weston
Kayla Iannetta
Education Committee Chair, Westport Pride
Jameson Russell
Staples High School Student

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Communicating to Open Minds
Monday, August 5, 7 pm | The Westport Library

Moderator Steve Parrish will be in conversation with Sally Susman, Pfizer's chief corporate affairs officer, to discuss ways to live harmoniously in a deeply divided world, having courage to live with candor, and building the essential leadership muscles that can shape our future.

Past Events

Preparing Westport for Major Capital Spending: A Community Conversation
Tuesday, March 26, 7-8:30 pm | The Westport Library

The League of Women Voters of Westport and the Common Ground Initiative are facilitating a community conversation with the Town of Westport and Westport Public Schools leadership team to share the rationale, goals and process for the town's next decades of major capital spending projects. 

Watch the recording here.


Common Ground Initiative Kickoff: Senator Roy Blunt on Civil Discourse
Tuesday, May 2, 2023, 7-8 pm | The Westport Library

On May 2, The Westport Library launched the Common Ground Initiative series by welcoming Roy Blunt, who served as a United States senator from Missouri from 2011 to 2023. Noted attorney Steve Parrish served as the event moderator.

Watch the recording here.


For more information on the Common Ground Initiative and/or to recommend future Common Ground Initiative programs or events, please contact us at [email protected].

crossmenuchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram