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
Frustrated environmental and clean-energy advocates say after four long years of debate and compromise, regulators sent Arizona back to the starting …
South Dakota continues to grapple with its low ranking when it comes to paying schoolteachers, but the issue is getting focus in 2022, including a …
Health and Wellness
Washington state lawmakers are considering a measure to limit the growing cost of prescription drugs. Senate Bill 5532 would establish a …
The Maryland Air National Guard is considering a proposal to establish airspace where military planes would fly as low as 100 feet over the Pennsylvan…
The state of Illinois is allocating nearly a quarter-billion dollars to support new downstate transit and ports projects. Roughly half will go …
Health and Wellness
Advocates and faith groups are calling for more investments in harm reduction across the state, as new provisional data shows overdose deaths have …
More than 300 Kentucky farmers participated in the state's Farms to Food Banks program last year, and at a recent virtual rally, state officials said …
Farmers and ranchers in Montana and across the nation are calling on Congress to pass the American Beef Labeling Act. Most food is required to have …