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Local moms start group to create civil conversations on politics

Political conversations can be difficult and divisive, but one local group is welcoming Central Ohioans to roll up their sleeves and speak their minds.

COLUMBUS - Two local moms spearheaded a grassroots effort to invite more women from every corner and political affiliation into conversations about community, hotly-debated issues, and legislation. The Central Ohio organization is called Salon Lab.

"We talk about a different issue once a month. We talk about it from both sides. We're bi-partisans- so we're a collectivity of women who are republicans, democrats, non-affiliated people who are just trying to figure out who they are and how they fit into the conversation," said co-founder Crystal Lett.

"We thought it would be cool to come together for a book club with no books and lots of wine and lots of friends. To be able to talk about whatever you want, from a political standpoint," said co-founder Sophia Fifner. "What makes us unique is I'm conservative and Crystal is my liberal friend. So we wanted to have diverse perspectives and welcome constructive conversations."

The co-founders of Salon Lab said it was born following the 2016 presidential campaign. The two local women met at the United State of Women Summit in Columbus and created the group to continue the momentum of the conference.

Part of the intention of the Columbus organization is to better represent women on the political stage and to create an entry point for women within policy discussion.

10tv spoke with Columbus resident Orla Putnam after she attended her first meeting.

"I've gotten into internet fights with people before and I'm very quick to say 'this person is a monster.' But when you're in-person it is different," said Putnam.

Putnam says the meeting was much more civil than she anticipated. "I was just a little hesitant because of my own judgments."

"I think tonight was very positive," said Putnam.

The meetings are open to the public. You can learn more about meetings and locations by clicking here.