One year ago, I joined Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH) and former Congressman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) to participate in the “Setting the Table for Civility” program, organized by the Faith and Politics Institute and the National Institute for Civil Discourse.
During the conversation, we talked about how we were able to work together as Representatives for Central Ohio, despite coming from different backgrounds and not agreeing on every issue. We talked about how the rise of social media and the anonymity it allows has led to a breakdown in civil discourse. And we talked about the importance of bringing civility to the forefront of discussion for our colleagues on Capitol Hill.
This conversation led to Congresswoman Beatty and me taking on a bold new initiative to show our communities and colleagues that we can disagree without being disagreeable: The Congressional Civility and Respect Caucus. Our vision for this Caucus, which we rolled out in January, was to bring together our colleagues from both sides of the aisle to spread the message of civility in our districts and in Washington. We didn’t want to avoid disagreements. Instead, we wanted to encourage having civil conversations and listening to each other, because often the conversations alone makes us better.
In that spirit, as we gather with our friends and families this Thanksgiving, I am calling on everyone to bring civility to their Thanksgiving table. We have so much to be thankful for and celebrate in America – especially our freedoms and opportunity – and we need to focus on these values that unite us as we engage in tough conversations about issues in our country.
From my family to yours, I want to wish all of the constituents of Ohio’s 15th Congressional District a Happy Thanksgiving.