Civility Coming To Arizona
National Conference Comes To Battleground Arizona After 65 years in Washington D.C.
The new logo of the National Conference on Citizenship.
By Staff Report
Modern Times Magazine
Sept. 18, 2011 — The National Conference on Citizenship and the Center For the Future of Arizona will host a two-day, series of events in the Phoenix area next week, trumpeting the value of partisanship and civility to the nation’s civic landscape.
This is the first year that the conference is being held outside Washington D.C. The National Conference on Citizenship was founded in 1946 and chartered by Congress in 1953. In the aftermath of World War II, the NCoC was created with the goal of capturing and perpetuating, in peacetime, the spirit of cooperation and civic energy fostered during wartime. With the collective attention of the nation returning to domestic affairs, NCoC was imagined as a vehicle to highlight the critical importance of civic responsibility to the health of our republic so that all citizens might dedicate themselves to continuously upholding the American concept of government and the democratic way of life.
This year’s events will mark the 66th annual conference and is themed, “Redefining America’s Social Compact.” The Center for the Future of Arizona, founded by Dr. Lattie Coor in 2002 seeks to help create, “an Arizona in which there are opportunities and quality of life for all citizens, now and in the future.” The Center for the Future of Arizona beat out a slew of other groups across the country to host these events.
The Phoenix events are a culmination of a week-long slate of events held during citizenship week. Thursday, a “Civic Innovators Forum” was held in Philadelphia and annual research reports were released Friday in the city of brotherly love. Read more on the 2011 Civic Life In America report here.
Friday was also the first day for “The Civic Connector” — an online discussion continuing through the week that will feature comments from leading policy makers. The comments will form part of the discussions during the two-day event in Phoenix. Confirmed contributors: include Judge Frank Damrell of California, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Clay Johnson of Big Window Labs.
The “Arizona Day of Civic Action” kicks off the Phoenix-area events at 7:30 a.m. Sept. 21 at the Wyndham Downtown Phoenix Hotel. During the event, panels will discuss civic insights and leadership in addition to the annual Arizona Town Hall luncheon. Go here to register.
At 1 p.m. at the ASU Phoenix campus, an invitation only event on “Exploring the Metrics of Success” will assess the future of civic information infrastructure.
Later on Sept. 21, at 3 p.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will host the “Premiere Discussion on Civility and Political Discourse” at the ASU Phoenix campus. Aaron Brown of PBS will host the discussion which will include former U.S. Sen. Robert Bennett of Utah, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, Sally Rider of the National Institute for Civic Discourse, Ted Simons of KAET-TV and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. A live webcast of the event is viewable here.
In a release announcing the discussion, the Bipartisan Policy Center said Arizona tragedies has helped to spur moving such discussions from the nation’s capitol.
“In light of the recent tragic events in Arizona, BPC and its Democracy Project have been working with numerous organizations in Washington to discuss how to improve our democracy and civic health. The discussion in Arizona seeks to emulate that conversation to an audience outside the Washington beltway,” according to the release.
Sept. 23 activities will be at ASU-Tempe and will examine “21st Century Expressions of America’s Social Compact,” beginning at 8 a.m. The program will bring together local, regional, and national leaders to talk about creation of civic strategies that help communities thrive. It will also feature awards presentations and the release of the Arizona Civic Health Index. Scheduled speakers include Coor, Paula Ellis of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Lucia Howard of the O’Connor House, Gerda Klein of Citizenship Counts, Eric Liu of Guiding Lights Network, Valeriano Ramos of Everyday Democracy, Steve Seleznow of Arizona Community Foundation, Beth Shiroishi of AT&T Foundation, Michael Stout of Missouri State University, Trish Tchume of the Building Movement Project and Jose Antonio Vargas of Define American.
For more information, visit the National Conference on Citizenship, Center for the Future of Arizona and Bipartisan Policy Center websites.