Ramping Down the Rhetoric in WA Politics
Friday, July 20, 2012
BELLEVUE, Wash. – Less than three weeks before Washington's primary election, accusations are being hurled in campaign ads that can make a person wonder, 'Whatever happened to civility?'
It's a question the League of Women Voters of Washington is asking, in seminars beginning Saturday in Bellevue. The free six-hour training is for moderators of public events who are faced with tough crowds and tough issues. And there will be other, shorter public workshops through this fall.
League Co-president Kim Abel says the goal is to spark discussions that are still lively – without yelling or name-calling.
"We're going to have disagreements and that's perfectly fine - there is no reason that we'd all think the same, we don't believe that. But we do believe that we all can sit down and talk about our differences, and find where we have similarities."
The July 21 moderators' training, Civility in Our Democracy, starts with an introduction at St. Andrew's Church, 2650 148th Ave S.E., Bellevue. Other workshops will be held in Clark County (Sept. 15), King County (Sept. 29) and Spokane County (Oct. 6).
Secretary of State Sam Reed is a fan of the training. He says what he's seen in public office is that negative campaigns and hate speech discourage people from entering politics - and they also discourage voters.
"The more negative ads there are, the more people are kind of disgusted with the whole process, and not particularly inclined to participate in the process, and even vote."
In his last year in office, Reed is visiting every county, speaking to students and civic groups about the importance of ramping down the hostile rhetoric in order to get things done.
"Week before last, I was at the Colville Chamber of Commerce, the Moses Lake Rotary Club - groups like that, throughout the state. I focus on civility, moderation and bipartisanship, and I've been getting just a terrific response."
Reed says he asks civic leaders not to endorse a candidate or contribute to their campaign without first getting a promise that they will abide by those three tenets.
get more stories like this via email
North Dakota's farming landscape is seeing policy shifts dealing with corporate ownership of agricultural interests. Now, there's fresh debate at the …
Advocates for unpaid family caregivers in Maine say they'll need continued support beyond the recently passed paid family and medical leave program…
The Students for Justice in Palestine chapters at the University of Florida and the University of South Florida are filing lawsuits against the deacti…
A new report from WGU Labs, a nonprofit affiliate of Western Governors University based in Millcreek, Utah, is shedding light on the importance of …
Many older residents of Washington state are facing strains on their budgets -- and the government programs that could assist them are underused…
Bloomington and Indianapolis are getting some international recognition for the work they're doing to help the environment. The two have been named …
Health and Wellness
New Mexico activists are tapping today's World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, to announce they'll ask the State Legislature to provide more money for treatment …
Bipartisan legislation that proposes the installation of solar panels in schools across Pennsylvania awaits a vote in the state Senate. The Solar …