A season of civility
It was nice, though, for social media sites like Facebook and Nextdoor to be able to focus on noise complaints, HOA issues, and lost pets, if only for a few weeks.
But with the slate of candidates for Irvine mayor and the city council set, and the first election signs already up around city hall, there is no doubt that November 6 will be here before we know it.
What strikes us as tedious is that the election could shape up to be a repeat of the June Measure B battle. The same arguments are being raised, with individuals with little experience in leadership or service to the city running for office on a single issue.
Why? Because Measure B proved to be a successful wedge issue in the city, which is just what certain interests in Irvine had hoped for.
Well, at least for this month, we choose not to engage.
Instead, we are going to suggest that we all practice being more civil to each other, whether we are meeting in person or online, and when we gather to speak and debate the important issues of the day.
What is civility, exactly? Well, we know what it isn’t: group chanting of “lock her/him up” or “recall, recall” at public meetings and events.
Perhaps we all need a refresher course on decorum. We searched online and asked friends for some of their tips. One we liked was to speak to others with the same tone that one would use at the dinner table in front of young children. No, not when we discipline them. But while explaining something, or answering one of their questions.
Here are some simple ideas to encourage civility for your consideration:
• Treat everyone courteously
• Pay attention
• Listen to others respectfully
• Acknowledge others
• Think the best
• Be inclusive
• Speak kindly
• Give open-minded consideration to all viewpoints
• Don’t speak ill
• Accept and give praise
• Respect others’ opinions
• Respect other people’s time
• Exercise self-control
• Focus on the issues and avoid personalizing debate
• Assert yourself
• Refrain from idle complaints
• Give constructive criticism
• Don’t shift responsibility and blame
Simple, and to the point—simplistic, even. We probably break several each day, but we’ll try and do better, if everyone else will, too. At least until our next issue!
In the meantime, you can begin to prepare for the election by reading the mayoral candidates’ own ballot statements and their Ballotpedia.com biographies in this issue. Next month, we’ll dig into the debates of the day and offer the first of our endorsements.