Statewide forum sets stage for civil discourse on ballot initiatives

Arizona voters from all political affiliations are invited to participate in a public forum simulcast around the state that is designed to bring together people with varying opinions to engage in civil dialogue about three upcoming ballot initiatives.

The event, called “Mapping Arizona’s Future,” is being hosted locally by Northern Arizona University’s Philosophy in the Public Interest and Coconino Community College, in collaboration with the non-partisan organization Project Civil Discourse.

“Being able to discuss matters—even potentially controversial ones—with respect and civility allows for better problem-solving and ultimately higher-leveled thinking,” said Leah Bornstein, president of Coconino Community College.

In Flagstaff, the event will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, at CCC’s Lone Tree Campus community boardroom. Local participants will join with other communities around the state to watch a simulcast panel discussion based in Phoenix of three issues that are being presented to Arizona voters on the November ballot: Proposition 115, relating to judicial selection; Proposition 204, the Quality Education and Jobs Act; and Proposition 121, the Arizona Open Government Act.

After the panel overview, the simulcast will be paused and local roundtable discussions will take place in Flagstaff and other communities around the state, including Tucson, Scottsdale, Apache Junction, Sedona and Yuma. Local discussion highlights will be compiled and the statewide simulcast resumed so participants can learn what other communities are discussing related to the ballot initiatives.

The local conversation will be co-facilitated by Andrea Houchard, director of NAU’s Philosophy in the Public Interest, and Lori Poloni-Staudinger, NAU associate professor of politics and international affairs.

The event is free, but space is limited and pre-registration is required. Register online. For information, contact Jamie Martin at (602) 257-0335 x26 or