State Rep. Denise Driehaus (D-Cincinnati) convened this week with thirty-four legislators from sixteen states to kick-off the National Network of State Legislators Committed to Civil Governance. The event took place in Seattle, home of this year’s National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) Annual Summit.
The National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD) works with state lawmakers from around the nation to address political dysfunction and hyper-partisanship through a series of workshops which encourage lawmakers to work across the aisle and create bi-partisan legislation that supports our democracy. NICD is targeting the state level of governance because more than half of the members of the United States Congress served originally at the state level.
“A more civil legislature will lead to a more productive legislature, and that is what our constituents want and deserve,” said Driehaus. “It is my pleasure to be part of this effort.”
Following the National Network Kick-Off, NICD held a reception in Seattle, where former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, presented the inaugural Gabrielle Giffords Award for Civility in State Governance to Washington State Representatives Hans Zeiger (R-Puyallup) and Sam Hunt (D-Olympia) for their commitment to NICD’s goals and values.
Founded in the wake of the 2011 assassination attempt on Congresswoman Giffords, NICD 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.