The Civil Discourse Committee meets monthly on a pre-designated Tuesday, at the Harbour Pointe Golf Club. Check The Voter newsletter or the LWVSC Calendar for details. You can also contact chair Joan Smith for more information.
The Civil Discourse Committee will continue its work to add an explicit statement about civil discourse to LWVWA’s position on Regional Government and to create a position or recognition of a principle at the national level. In February, 2019, LWVSC adopted the following position by concurrence with LWV of San Luis Obispo (CA):
Promote civil discourse through action and education for all government bodies, staff, and the public for the purpose of improved public policy decisions and processes. Civil discourse means, at a minimum, mutual, respectful, courteous, constructive, and orderly communication.
Six other county leagues have since adopted the same position by concurrence. At the June, 2019, LWVWA Convention, the Direction to the Board encouraged the State Board to keep the issue of Civil Discourse before the public throughout the work of the county Leagues.
In 2019-2020, the Civil Discourse Committee will work to:
- Create a communication platform for all county leagues to share ideas on topics and methods to promote civil discourse within their various communities.
- Generate a citizen pamphlet, app, and link to assist civic participation at the local level, highlighting key steps and elements of civil discourse.
- Work to get this pamphlet shared throughout the county at various councils.
- Prepare a “book talk” and target the northern sector of county, partnering with Sno-Isle Libraries.
- Design a pre-Primary forum, or early spring forum, to generate new interest in the value of civil discourse, targeting the eastern section of Snohomish County.
- Listen intently to the diverse segments of our community to hear their insights on civil discourse and how to promote it.
Civil Discourse Programs
The committee has held a number of educational forums and has prepared materials for the public.
- Civil Discourse Overview at Edmonds Community College on October 17, 2017. Facilitated by Bob Drewel, a panel of experts spoke on the state of civil discourse within their fields: Education, the Media, Politics, and Community. This brochure on Civil Discourse was reprinted with permission from the LWV of San Luis Obispo. It is also available in Spanish.
- Civil Discourse: A Community Conversation" at the Everett Library on April 29, 2018. Featured speaker was Jacquelyn Styrna, Director, Dispute Resolution Center, Volunteers of America, Skagit County, who outlined elements of civil discourse. The audience participated in circle conversations around questions. (Conversation Circle Questions)
- Diversity: Conflict to Cohesion--The Role of Civil Discourse on October 24, 2018, at Everett Community College. Facilitator Bob Drewel posed questions to a panel who represented diversity within the county. Discussion circles for the audience followed, supported by questions and references in a handout as well as a bookmark. (Listen to a podcast of this forum.)