We believe there are two key threats to the effectiveness and efficiency of our governing process today. They are:
- Lack of civic participation at every level of government, from neighborhood associations to Congress.
- Persistent (and growing) polarization in our society along lines of race, socio-economic groups, religion, age, politics and special interests.
A nation experiencing both polarization and citizen apathy is a nation at risk. The institute works to reduce polarization in society by focusing on the very public civility (or lack of it!) in the governing process by facilitating dialogue, teaching respect, and building civility. The Institute has two priorities:
- We educate people about their role in government and equip them to participate effecively in it.
- We help Government officials, staff, and constituents understand that the manner in which we govern ourselves is often as important as the positions that we take.
While we care about civility everywhere, we have chosen to focus on the governing process because:
- It is public.
- It is something in which we all have a stake.
- It is a venue where change can be affected.
- It influences other areas of our lives together in community.
The Institute does not endorse any political candidate, nor do we take a position on any issue. We are about process, not positions.