Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Workshops help state legislators be more civil; has your state had one? Has your legislator attended?

Editorial commentators like to complain about the decline in civility in politics and government, but how many of them know to ask their local legislators if they have attended workshops aimed at improving civil discourse and building bipartisan trust?

The workshops are held by the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Institute for Civil Discourse, chaired by former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton and created by the University of Arizona to honor then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Tucson, who was seriously wounded in a mass shooting in 2011. The workshops, called the Next Generation program because half of national elected leaders come from statehouses, were conceived by then-state Rep. Ted Celeste of Ohio, Jenni Bergal reports for Stateline.

More than 200 state legislators from across the country have attended the workshops, which have been held in Ohio, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Washington, Massachusetts, Vermont, Colorado, Minnesota and Maine. If your state is on that list, has/have your legislator(s) attended? If so, what did they get out of it? If not, why not? And if your state isn't on the list, why not?

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