Civil Discourse

Civil Discourse: What, How And Why Now?

It seems to be the topic of many conversations these days. But what is civil discourse, and how can we achieve it? More importantly, why has the call become increasingly louder for a concerted effort to find a different way of electing our leaders, solving our problems and interfacing with each other?

What is Civil Discourse

Civil discourse is our ability to have conversation on topics about which we disagree and to listen to each other’s perspectives. Civil discourse requires respect of the other participants and an appreciation for others’ experiences.

To advance society and improve the quality of life in Arizona, we must be prepared to discuss important, yet potentially contentious issues, such as growth, transportation, healthcare and education. Our democracy is dependent upon responsible residents that can, and will, wrestle with these tough issues, without partisanship, while maintaining respect for the need to hear, understand and take into account different viewpoints.

Join the Discussion

An interactive panel of local experts will be discussing civil discourse, what it is and why it’s important at Valley Forward’s luncheon on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel.

Panelists include Paul Johnson, former Mayor of the city of Phoenix and manager of Southwest Next Capital Management; Chuck Coughlin, president of HighGround Public Affairs; and Steve Rizley, senior vice president and general manager of Cox Communications. Tarah Jackson, president of Arizona Town Hall will serve as moderator.

These speakers will be engaging attendees in a conversation on civil discourse, the shifting of politics in Arizona, consensus building and regional thinking. It’s especially important in this presidential election year, which also marks Arizona’s centennial celebration and the 50th anniversary of Arizona Town Hall. Come hear for yourself why listening to others’ opinions is so integral in our society.

For more information about Valley Forward, visit valleyforward.org.

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Diane Brossart

About Diane Brossart

Diane Brossart has a longtime connection with Valley Forward Association, having first joined the non-profit public interest organization 20 years ago. Brossart served on the Valley Forward Board of Directors for several years and was named President of the association in 1991.As President, Brossart oversees a staff of four and manages a host of committees, which focus on such issues as land use planning and desert preservation, transportation and air quality, water concerns and environmental education. Under Brossart's leadership, Valley Forward has received widespread recognition for its role in addressing environmental and quality of life issues in the Valley. Awards include an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9; Award of Distinction from the Western Mountain Region of the American Institute of Architects; and first-place honors from the City of Phoenix Mayor's Environmental Awards Program. Brossart also received the Phoenix Award from the Public Relations Society of America's Phoenix Chapter in 2008, in addition to the 2009 Champion of Sustainability Award through the Phoenix Business Journal's Green Pioneers program. She is also involved as a member of several civic organizations, including the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Valley Partnership, Friends of the West Valley Recreation Corridor and Phoenix Community Alliance.Prior to her work with Valley Forward, Brossart was Vice President of one of the Valley's largest public relations agencies, serving as a marketing consultant to Valley Forward and several commercial accounts. Brossart received her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Wayne State University in 1979 and began her professional career as a reporter for a daily newspaper in metropolitan Detroit.