OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — Trump versus Clinton. While friends have been taking sides on Facebook, some women in California and Alabama are engaged in a real dialogue.
It’s a unique effort to find common ground.
Two groups of women are teaming up for a unique political dialogue.
One side is pro-Trump, the other — pro-Clinton.
All around us, people are fighting about politics, but in one small corner of Facebook, something is happening. People are talking to each other.
Martina Cucullu Lim lives in Oakland, California and voted for Hillary Clinton. She cried on election night.
“I just really wanted to….I wanted to understand,” Lim said.
Courtney Hall lives in Dadeville, Alabama and voted for Donald Trump.
Hall said, “I thought it would be a great opportunity to try to understand California Clinton voters.”
So they volunteered for a part of a project that took 25 women from the Bay Area and 25 from Alabama, put them in a private Facebook room and let them talk politics.
The name of the new group: Calabama Connect.
Lim said, “I am still very much in favor of gun control, but I was able to get an understanding, a perspective that I hadn’t had before.”
Hall said, “I thought that a lot of people in California would support the Calexit movement” but “when I posed the question to the group not a single person supported it, so that really cleared things up for me.”
It’s the brainchild of Eve Pearlman and Jeremy Hay, former journalists who quit their jobs to start Spaceship Media — its goal is to facilitate dialogue. This is Spaceship’s first project.
Pearlman said, “We’re so grateful to all the women who participated.”
AL.com, an Alabama online news site, provided the funding and support to get started.
Hall said, “We’ve talked about everything from immigration, to cabinet appointees, to gun control, abortion, you name it, we’ve talked about it.”
A reporter works with the group to provide data when needed and it’s a closed and private group. That’s important to the participants.
“I don’t have to worry about being trolled or being attacked,” Lim said.
Pearlman and Hay moderate the comments on the page, but they don’t ban people. A few women dropped out of the group, but others have friended each other outside the group.
Hall said, “A lot of us are going to keep in touch. We’ve started another Facebook group where maybe [we’ll be] doing a book club or just generally keeping in touch.”
Let me give you an example of a breakthrough. Using some data provided by a reporter, the women discovered that, under Obamacare, people in Alabama pay more for health insurance than people in California do, so there’s a reason many voters in Alabama do not like Obamacare and why many in California do.
As Eve Pearlman told us, each side could see that the other wasn’t crazy.