“Make this our moment in history. Right here, right now.”
The need for civility in politics
With the leader of the United States of America calling for elected officials to leave if they don’t like the way the country is being run, the ever-increasing need for civility and collaborative negotiation is very clear.
These skills are important for policymakers to be committed because public policy will reflect that collaboration. When one party is in control and makes decisions without consulting other points of views, there is a much higher chance for unintended consequences. When a policy solution has bipartisan support, there is a much less chance that the policy solution will be repealed when the party who is the majority changes.
This is important for citizens to understand so we can elect individuals who have the skills and abilities to work with a diversity of stakeholders and ensure that every demographic’s voice has been heard.
The ability to communicate clearly and respectfully is important regardless of if you are in a policy-making position. Everyone has interpersonal conflicts and staying civil, not reacting emotionally, can improve conflict resolution skills.
In conclusion, I will offer a few ways of staying civil and focusing on collaborative negotiation: Focus on interests, not positions. It is important to know what you want and be open to multiple ways of pursuing meeting your needs (negotiation is not “my way or the highway”).
Also, know when to walk away, understanding when negotiations are not going to reach an agreement. Know your own boundaries and what conditions you are not willing to agree to.
Mayor Selby’s support of March for Our Lives
Being a part of the Olympia March for Our Lives rally was an amazing experience. It was one of the first times as a youth that I worked alongside adults and felt respected and listened to. It was also a time where I helped bring awareness to the huge issue of gun violence and helped to make a change.
Instrumental to this rally was Olympia Mayor Cheryl Selby. Mayor Selby was a key part to making the rally happen and for putting the voices of young people forward. In the very beginning of the rally organizing, Mayor Selby invited a group of student organizers to her house where we began the planning of the rally. Mayor Selby made it clear she wanted us as students to be a major part of the planning, while she helped us with the logistical side, acquiring city permits for the march.
Time was tight with the march, but Mayor Selby helped make the march happen and be a huge success, with an estimated 5,000 people attending.
Mayor Selby is running for mayor again in this upcoming election. I support her as a candidate because of her advocacy for gun violence prevention and her commitment to hearing and including young voices.