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City Club Of Boise - Striving For Civility In Fractured Times

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In December of 2016, Foreign Policy Magazine noted that “the U.S. presidential campaign set a new low for civility and reasoned discourse.” But newer lows would keep coming. By the end of 2020, an L.A. Times Columnist was asking “Will the 2020 presidential campaign turn out to be the low point in modern political civility?”

There are efforts underway to address lagging civil discourse and engagement.
Boise State University is launching the Institute for Advancing American Values to promote freedom of speech and the free and civil exchange of ideas.
The Boise Metro Chamber, Smith + Malek and the Idaho Association of Cities joined together to hold a series of online discussions called In Search of Civility.

Other former state and local officials from both major parties are speaking out in forums and other public gatherings but so far there are few signs that the state’s discourse is improving.

Civility has been at the heart of the City Club of Boise’s mission for more than two and a half decades, and a specific topic of conversation since the City Club's 20th Anniversary in 2015.

Opening remarks and welcome sent home from Africa from Idaho entrepreneur and philanthropist Greg Carr.


  • Kelley Packer, Executive Director of Idaho Association of Cities, Former state Representative, and host of Boise Metro Chamber’s In Search of Civility series.
  • Bill Manny, Producer at Idaho Public Television, former City Club of Boise President, host of City Club of Boise’s 2016 Civility Project
  • Monica Church, Boise Public Schools teacher, City of Boise Ethics Commission member, Frank Church Institute and Andrus Center board member
  • Dr. Palina Louangketh, Founder and Executive Director, Idaho Museum of International Diaspora

This virtual conversation was moderated by City Club of Boise board member Katherine Himes, P.h.D., James A. & Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research Director.