Marshfield Civility Project
A desire to end the ongoing bickering and partisanship so prevalent in today’s political discourse led to a series of bipartisan voter education forums that focused on civility. Launched in September 2014 by Chris Jockheck, Wood County Democratic party member, and Dan Wald, Wood County Republican party chair, the Marshfield Civility Project presented two distinct viewpoints, with the public listening, having time to discuss with the presenters and then deciding for themselves which rationale best fits their personal beliefs. The No. 1 priority was ensuring mutual respect for all viewpoints.
The first forum tackled the topic, “Political Fix: How Do We Get American Politics Back on Track,” with succeeding voter education forums on the minimum wage and Badgercare funding referendums, Wisconsin school vouchers and the state of higher education in Wisconsin.
Through the process of a deliberative forum, attendees discussed differences in underlying values and philosophies in a structured format that encourages respect for differing viewpoints.
The goal of the Marshfield Civility Project was to encourage healthy citizen dialogue on the issues, with the ultimate goal being to become better-informed voters.