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Conference Aims To Restore Respect in San Diego Civic Dialogue

Evening Edition

Aired 3/17/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.

Carl Luna, Political Science Professor, Mesa College

Scott Lewis, CEO, Voice of San Diego

Transcript

There was a time in America, so they say, when politicians and the public could disagree strongly about an issue, but maintain respect for their opponents.

It's easy to look at our present public dialogue and conclude that those days are long gone. A lot of public discourse has degenerated into shouting matches, campaigns devolved into attack ads which distort instead of explain.

In San Diego's recent mayoral election, for example, political scientist Carl Luna says the majority of money raised by independent committees was spent on negative attack ads.

So, for the last three years, a group of civic-minded individuals and organizations are coming together to try to bring back moderation and civility into the way we talk about politics.

It's the third annual Conference Restoring Civility to Civic Dialogue happening this week at the University of San Diego.

This year's theme is "Creating a Culture of Civility" with Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer, director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse as the keynote speaker.

Mesa College political science professor Carl Luna, returns as the moderator of the event.

The conference kicks off Friday May, 21 at USD's Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice.

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