This editorial from Steve Rabe is worth your time: Needed: Civility and respect in local politics.
We must bring back an atmosphere of civility, mutual respect and cooperation to politics in general, but especially to the city of Richmond. The concept of the “loyal opposition” seems to have been forgotten. The concept remembers that, at the end of the day, we are all in this together and generally all want what is best for our community, even though we may have disagreements and differences of opinion in many areas.
I’ve written before about ways to challenge someone in conversation while still being respectful. And if you regularly find yourself blinded by rage when talking to people you disagree with (or just want to improve your communication skills in general), you might appreciate the excellent book Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High.