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From time to time, ENews has pointed to examples where leaders have made efforts to cut through the usual partisan rhetoric to present information to the public in ways that will help stimulate dialogue and build consensus for the need to address crucial public issues.
Clean energy and climate change are two issues, as the recent “Unlikely Alliance” ads from the Alliance for Climate Protection demonstrate. Another is water management and protection as PCI Board member and Indiana State Senator Beverly Gard explains in our latest video.
The new documentary I.O.U.S.A. highlights another issue, the national debt. The film is produced by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and highlights the Concord Coalition, a bi-partisan citizen's group organized in 1992 by Pete Peterson, former Secretary of the Treasury and Senators Warren Rudman and the late Paul Tsongas (who was succeeded by Senator Robert Kerrey). The film follows former Comptroller General David Walker and the Concord Coalition's Robert Bixby on their Fiscal Wake-Up Tour, which began as a series of public forums around the country. At a live forum following the film’s premiere, Pete Peterson noted, “I think the problem is at bottom not about the numbers. Left, right, and center agree on the numbers. The problem is about getting the public understanding and the political will to do something about it.”
The Tour began as a series of public forums around the country and now, in addition to those forums, they are organizing in-depth local committees to further focus attention on how to address the long-term fiscal challenges we face as a nation.
When PCI works with leaders, we stress that in order to get people to work together toward solutions, an issue needs to be framed in a way that enables people to connect to the problem and move toward a broader, more common perspective. The goal of framing is to define the issue in terms that will engage people from diverse perspectives in looking for a common solution. I.O.U.S.A. is a good example of leaders acting in this way. For more information about the movie, and the process, visit the Peterson Foundation's website.
At the end of this month, the PCI Board will honor William D. Ruckelshaus for his lifetime of collaborative leadership by naming and presenting him with the Ruckelshaus Award for Collaborative Leadership.
The Award recognizes those who demonstrate leadership in the field of collaborative governance and aims to both motivate the kinds of leadership necessary for solving today’s issues as well as educate the public as to its benefits. As a leader who embodies the principles and practices of collaboration, Mr. Ruckelshaus is a natural recipient for such an award.
Mr. Ruckelshaus is best known as the first, and later the fifth, United States Environmental Protection Agency's Administrator when the agency was formed in 1970. His recent work in the state of Washington to protect and restore Puget Sound through collaborative governance strategies is particularly noteworthy. Together with other civic leaders in Washington communities, Mr. Ruckelshaus leads the Puget Sound Partnership,a new state agency compromised of representatives from multiple sectors - citizen, government, business, tribal, and scientific - that is developing a regional plan to restore and protect Puget Sound. He is also chairman for the University of Washington and Washington State University William D. Ruckelshaus Center and Emeritus Board Member for the University of Wyoming’s Ruckelshaus Institute, two centers that provide resources for collaborative problem solving.
He was Deputy Attorney General of Indiana from 1960 through 1965 and a member of the Indiana House of Representatives and its majority leader from 1967 to 1969. President Nixon appointed him for the years 1969 and 1970 as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Division for the U.S. Department of Justice. Following his first term as EPA Administrator, he was appointed acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1973, and in the same year was appointed Deputy Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice.
From July 1997 to July 1998, President Clinton appointed him as the U.S. envoy in the implementing of the Pacific Salmon Treaty and in 1999 he was appointed by Governor Gary Locke as the Chairman of the Salmon Recovery Funding Board for the State of Washington and in May, 2007 appointed by Governor Christine Gregoire as Chairman of the Leadership Council of the Puget Sound Partnership. On June, 2001, he was appointed by President Bush as a member of the Commission on Ocean Policy which was created by Congress in 2000.
View PCI's video of Bill Ruckelshaus's talk to the University Network for Collaborative Governance and the Ruckelshaus Institute's interview with Bill Ruckelshaus "Lifetimes of Experience with Collaborative Public Process."
As of this past summer, the Great Lakes states have all joined together to enact the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact into law. PCI Board member and Indiana State Senator Beverly Gard was instrumental in the unanimous passage of the Compact bill in that state. Indiana became the first state in February to pass the bill and its implementation measure through both chambers of the state legislature. “This compact allows the states to use their sovereignty together to make sure we preserve our vital natural resource,” said Gard. “The Great Lakes serves as a national driving force behind industry, energy and economic development.”
In the "Great Lakes Compact" video, Gard shares her experience in working across the aisle and across both chambers of the Indiana General Assembly to pass the legislation.
Registration for the next University Network for Collaborative Governance meeting is now open.
The meeting, which is co-hosted by the University of Texas's Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution will begin with a reception and dinner Sunday, November 9th at the Doubletree Club Austin – University Area. On Monday, November 10th, the meeting will be held at the University of Texas Austin’s Law School and then on Tuesday, November 11th re-convene at the Doubletree and adjourn at 1:30pm.
A block of rooms is set aside at the Doubletree Club Austin – University Area at the rate of $129 (plus tax) per night. Please make your own reservation by calling 512-479-4000. The group code is NET (for online reservations) or University Network Meeting (for reservations by phone). For the group rate, make reservations by October 12, 2008.
Conference sessions will include:
Visit the event page for more information and to register by October 12, 2008.
We hope to see you in Austin in November!
PCI's new publication, A Practical Guide to Collaborative Governance, is a 62-page step-by-step handbook that walks readers through the stages of sponsoring, convening, organizing, and participating in a public policy collaborative process. Designed primarily for elected and appointed government officials and civic leaders, the guide is also useful for both undergraduate and graduate level courses in a variety of fields that focus on collaboration.
The Practical Guide was developed and written by Chris Carlson, founding director of PCI and a leading authority on consensus building in the public sector.
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