(KCPW News) Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker are calling on Utah’s political officials and citizens to practice civility. The partnership is part of a Salt Lake Center for Engaging Community initiative. The two spoke Thursday in Memory Grove about the toll political polarization has taken on dialogue in Utah and nationwide. Becker says promoting civility starts with things that are fairly simple, including small cards he’s giving out that read “civility, pass it on”.
“There will also be a number of education programs going on both in the schools and with our public and reminders for all of us as we’re interacting that we do best when we respect each other and listen and try to arrive at conclusions and decisions based on our principles based on our views and adapt those as we learn more from listening.” Becker says.
Lt. Governor Bell says he and the governor disagree with Mayor Becker on a lot of issues, but where they find common ground is civil discourse.
“We’ve seen an acceleration of people being ill tempered of being rude of being disrespectful to the point that people are being politically penalized for simply being kind or reaching out to people of the other party.” He says. “That’s just not right.”
Bell and Becker say they’re not afraid to call out someone from either party when they cross the line. The mayor says he often does so privately after a situation has occurred.
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