A former McLean Countian is taking steps to reshape how people talk about politics and news.
Beth Silvers co-hosts a podcast called Pantsuit Politics with Sarah Stewart Holland. Silvers' perspective is from the political right, and Holland's perspective is from the left.
The two discuss aspects of politics and news in a civil manner in hopes that listeners will be able to apply the same tactic to their relationships.
The two attended college together at Transylvania University and knew each other throughout college.
Both attended law school afterward, but in different areas. They were eventually reconnected through Holland's blog, and Holland asked Silvers if she'd be interested in doing a podcast.
"We did a test call where we talked about politics over the phone," said Holland. "After about an hour, I said we weren't going to talk anymore unless we were recording it, and that's how Pantsuit Politics was born."
The podcast officially began in 2015. According to Silvers, five or six weeks into their journey on the iTunes airwaves, they were featured as a new and noteworthy podcast.
"In 2015, that was a very big deal," said Silvers. "It was almost a make or break deal for podcasts. All of a sudden, we are moving from a couple of hundred downloads per episode to a couple of thousand downloads per episode."
The growth continued as they entered 2017. Silvers says she estimates their numbers tripled between January and February of 2017.
"That's when we were able to sign on with an advertising agency and start getting some revenue in the door for the podcast," said Silvers. "Not huge revenue, but enough to make us know that we were on a good path."
For Holland, the podcast is her full-time job now. Silvers also has a business coaching practice, but she says the podcast is the biggest part of her self-employment.
Silvers, the daughter of Kelly and Sharon Thurman, grew up in McLean County after moving to the area at age 3. While she has resided in Union in Boone County for years, McLean County still has a special place in her heart.
"It's just a big part of who I am," said Silvers referencing the county. "It's my home."
Silvers says that her upbringing on a local farm helps her to consider how national and state policies will trickle down and actually affect those on a local level.
"There's just no way to untangle the experience of having lived in a place like McLean County from my analysis," said Silvers, "and I'm so glad, I'm so grateful for that."
Silvers and Holland have recently published a book, "I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening)", which is available at thomasnelson.com.
For more information, visit www.pantsuitpoliticsshow.com or find the podcast on iTunes.