Common Ground for the Common Good

In a 2018 poll, 93% of Americans said incivility is a problem in the U.S. Additionally, 69% said it’s a “serious” problem.

“Incivility” is a mild word to describe the toxicity that has divided political parties, school boards, and many families in the past few years. Too much of our public discourse has devolved into a verbal cage match with no rules.

This heartening super-majority of concern is a call to action. Our current level of incivility is not normal. It is not inevitable. And it is not incurable.

Fortunately, there is a growing chorus of people and organizations who are thinking, meeting, and writing about how to turn the tide. Their work is worth studying to find the most effective strategies.

For all the past generations who fought and worked to sustain democracy, and for all the future generations whose legacy is in our hands, this is our civic duty.

Learn more about Common Ground for the Common Good

Summit Proceedings Report

The Civic Health Summit was hosted by the Washington State Lieutenant Governor, the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, the Jackson Foundation, and The William D. Ruckelshaus Center using participatory design-based practices that are simple yet impactful.

The event itself was designed to ensure that each activity supported the purpose of the engagement so that conversation yielded something.

Participants were invited to document in each small group conversation on template sheets, an action that connects their conversation to writing and drawing, enabling them to internalize and reflect on the information being shared.

Following the meeting, the hosting team reviewed the documents and the table hosts responded to identify underlying patterns that may shape future actions.

Learn more about the Summit Proceedings Report