The Network consists of 100 legislators from 20+ states who have participated in the workshop “Building Trust through Civil Discourse” developed by Ted Celeste, the Director of State Programs for NICD. In 2017, the co-chairs will be: Maine State Treasurer. Terry Hayes – I (previously a member of the state legislature), Ohio State Sen. Frank LaRose – R, and Idaho State Rep. Melissa Wintrow – D. Each of the co-chairs has also been trained to facilitate the workshop in other states.
“I have been involved in the NICD program since its beginning”’ said Sen. LaRose, “and I can already see the difference here in Ohio and in other States where I was a facilitator”. Treasurer Hayes added, “As civil discourse generates better policy outcomes, I am honored to work with colleagues from across the country through NICD.” “Being involved in education for much of my life,” said Rep. Wintrow, “I have seen how civil conversation is key to effective communication.”
With the call for civility in state legislatures across the country becoming more and more frequent, the Network will increase in participation. The new co-chairs will lead the Network in a very significant year as they seek to not only expand the membership of the Network but also offer members opportunities to improve their skills in facilitating civil discourse and share innovative bipartisan approaches from one state to another.
Founded in the wake of the 2011 assassination attempt on Congresswoman Giffords, the National Institute for Civil Discourse is a non-profit, non-partisan institute based at the University of Arizona dedicated to addressing incivility and political dysfunction in American democracy by promoting structural and behavioral change. Informed by research, NICD’s programs are designed to create opportunities for elected officials, the media, and the public to engage different voices respectfully and take responsibility for the quality of our public discourse and effectiveness of our democratic institutions.