04-0703R


RESOLUTION CONCERNING CIVILITY IN POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS.

BY COUNCILOR NESS:

     WHEREAS, the American public is polarized over political and cultural lines, and current trends lead us to believe this polarization is on the rise; and

     WHEREAS, much of our current political involvement is focused on political dialogue amongst like-minded individuals, our political news is increasingly from biased and partisan sources, and our public dialogue is corrupted by ideologically narrow, emotionally fueled, and factually challenged information; and

     WHEREAS, this political culture has impaired the ability of many politically-minded citizens to listen, understand and appreciate a perspective that might be different from their own; and

     WHEREAS, the result of our unwillingness to hear and appreciate different perspectives is a breakdown of civil political discussion, which leads to a political shouting match in which obnoxious behavior from one perspective is met with increasingly negative and angry obnoxious behavior from a different perspective; and

     WHEREAS, we have seen a rise of increasingly negative and angry rhetoric, a disrespect for person and property, and behaviors and actions, that have ranged from unfortunate to despicable, from individuals of different political ideologies, that deserve to be condemned by all reasonable people in the community; and

     WHEREAS, such behaviors and actions serve only to damage the social fabric and sense of community within the city of Duluth, to reduce the value of political debate and discussion, and potentially damage our relationship with neighbors who share different perspectives.

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Duluth City Council rejects the behaviors and actions described above, and strongly condemns any politically motivated damage to, or theft of, personal property.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Duluth City Council encourages public debate and political campaigns that are based upon a mutual respect for different perspectives, a factual portrayal of the issues, and an understanding that we can all learn from one another if we are willing to listen.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Duluth City Council points out that no matter the result of the upcoming election, that life will go on and great civic challenges will remain - our ability to work with neighbors of all perspectives will be the key to our success.


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This resolution memorializes the council’s position that political campaigns should be conducted with civility.