Leadership Training for State Legislators

Leadership Training for State Legislators

National Institute for Civil Discourse; State Legislative Leaders Foundation; National Foundation of Women Legislators

The National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD), the State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF) and National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) have formed a partnership to address the issue of hyper-partisanship and diminishing public support for our institutions of government. All three organizations are nonprofits which operate in a strictly nonpartisan manner and bring together legislators of all ideologies to discuss and debate current issues.

Our goal is to inspire legislative leaders to take positive steps to diminish the partisan divide that threatens to rip apart the very fabric of our representative democracy.

Even more to the point, all of us are dedicated to the proposition that Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, can find common ground if they work to establish a firm foundation of mutual respect and trust.

Our plan for this first program is to gather 24 state legislative leaders from 12 states, with two leaders from each state - a Democrat and a Republican, or two members of the same party but from different factions of that party.

We have the tools to achieve these goals, and we are eager to enlist the participation and support of legislative leaders from across the country. We hope they will attend this first conference and then take these ideas and strategies back to their own state legislatures. We will then offer our assistance in convening follow-up workshops for all of the members of their home legislatures.  

Project Goals: 

  • To promote a renewed political culture built on a foundation of mutual respect and trust;
  • To increase civility and collaboration among legislators of all ideologies;
  • To inspire legislators to take positive steps to diminish the partisan divide that threatens the health of our democracy;
  • To encourage and equip legislators to convene civility workshops in their own institutions.

Project Outcomes:

  • At least 24 state legislators from a minimum of 12 states will be educated in the art of civil discourse.
  • These legislators, hopefully, one from each party or one from each faction of the same party, will commit to encouraging and exhibiting civility in their daily interactions in the state.
  • Program participants in 4 to 6 states will commit to hosting a session on civil discourse for members of their legislature.