Bravo! Kudos to the mayors and city councils of the seven cities and to the Board of Supervisors for adopting unanimously the Regional Code of Civility at a formal, public ceremony at the SLO County Public Library.
For five years the League of Women Voters of San Luis Obispo County has promoted the cause of civil discourse at public meetings and in political debate. We have drafted resolutions on Civility and Civil Discourse that we have seen adopted by the Board of Supervisors and city councils throughout the county. We have provided training workshops and brochures on “best practices” for civil discourse to agencies and organizations to help them run meetings more productively. We provide a democracy concierge service at SLO City Council meetings that fosters respectful, constructive speech and encourages residents to make their voices heard.
Without civility, we are unable to talk to each other, to hear each other, or to reason together. Without civility, consensus and compromise are nearly impossible. Without civility, problems are left unsolved, citizens become alienated and our democracy suffers. And while we enthusiastically commend our elected officials for the stand they have taken, we also encourage all candidates for public office to follow their lead and sign on to the Regional Code of Civility. By doing so they can help ensure this fall’s election campaigns focus on issues and policies, not personalities, and offer constructive solutions, rather than hyperbole and invective.
Ann Havlik, Cindy Marie Absey
Co-presidents, League of Women Voters of San Luis Obispo County