Des Moines City Council to take civility course
Des Moines City Council members are spending half the day learning how to better work together.
Why it matters: Tuesday's four-hour training is intended to increase effectiveness of the city's top leadership, partly by promoting civility among themselves and the public.
Catch up fast: DSM council meetings became noticeably more contentious as local efforts for police reform reached our city following the 2020 murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis.
- New safety protocols, including city hall security sweeps and metal detectors, were added after in-person meetings resumed in 2021 following pandemic closures.
What's happening: Employees of Baker Tilly, a Chicago-based consulting company, lead the training during a special workshop at Central Library.
- It'll focus on good governance practices with emphasis on process, civility and teamwork.
- The Institute for Local Government's paper, "Attributes of Exceptional Councils," is on a recommended reading list for meeting participants.
Of note: The training is something Mayor Frank Cownie and city manager Scott Sanders discussed prior to the pandemic, Sanders tells Axios.
- It'll cost the city $25,000, according to public records.
The big picture: Almost all Americans believe society is less civil than it was a decade ago.
- And they blame social media and public officials, according to the American Bar Association’s 2023 Survey of Civic Literacy.
Get involved: Drake University is hosting a free panel discussion next week about civility in our local elections for current and future metro leaders.
💬 Our thought bubble: Sometimes even "Iowa nice" needs a refresher.
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