Civil Dialogue and Public Trust in Government

Citizens’ trust in government, at all levels, is on a downward trend. Perhaps increased partisanship is to blame; or, maybe the pressure to provide more for less is the culprit. Regardless, a lack of integrity, cooperation and open communication are becoming widespread problems in government. To reverse the downward trend, increasing civility among elected officials, government employees and citizens must be a primary objective. This page shows examples of what to do - and what not to do - to improve civility in your county.

Multimedia Resources



Online Resources



Recommended Reading



Guidelines for Improving Civility



PowerPoint Presentations from Workshops On Civility

(all files PDF)

Examples of Civility and Incivility


Play the video through the Chairman of the Board's invitation for public comment. Pay particular attention to how the county presents itself, how the chairman calls the meeting to order and runs the meeting, and interaction between board members and staff.

  • Examples of incivility:
  1. Bipartisanship Solves Versus Divides Our Nation

    Today’s political environment is intensely polarized along partisan lines.
  2. Creating a Culture of Civility

    Civility is critical for sustaining the democratic principle that we are all entitled to hold and express our opinions. Read on...
  3. The Path to Improving Civic Engagement

    More can be done to bring people into the civic conversation. It's good for governments, communities and our civic process. Read on...
  4. The Hard Work of Restoring Trust in Government

    Countering the public's cynicism and mistrust starts with honest, open communication. Read on...
View All