The Public Policy Committee’s non-partisan civics engagement series, Civics 9-1-1, was a great success. In the first two of this three part series, we explored our constitutional foundations and long-held democratic norms, discussed how to separate facts from disinformation and how to have a civil conversation. Part three addressed the election system and how citizens can become engaged in local community and civic activities.
Session I, “American Democracy: What We Believe”, was held on March 21st with over 35 people in attendance. AAUW Carlisle members, Dr. Marybeth Ulrich, Professor of Government at the U.S. Army War College and Judge Mary (Cherry) France (retired), U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Middle District, PA, discussed our Constitutional Foundations and Principles of Democracy. The audience also learned about citizen obligations that, when followed, will serve to promote a healthy and sustainable democracy.
Session II on March 30th, entitled “Fact or Fiction: Disinformation & Civil Discourse”, featured Cumberland County Commissioners Jean Foschi and Vince DiFilippo who discussed the importance of finding common ground, providing examples of how they work across the political isle to further the people’s business, and Chris Baxter, Founder and Executive Director, Spotlight PA, who discussed how to identify disinformation and the effect of social media. Kate
Elkins moderated and guided attendees through 9 tips for effectively exchanging ideas with those who have opposing opinions and different values.
Session III on April 4th was “Wanted: Informed, Engaged Citizens”. Leading a discussion of elections and other civic engagement opportunities was Bethany Salzarulo, Director, Cumberland County Bureau of Elections, Paula Bussard, President, Board of Directors, Carlisle Area School District and Stephen Caruso, Capitol Reporter, Spotlight PA.