When it comes civility, 2017 was a tough year, hallmarked by a level of political divisiveness previously unseen. Fortunately, the final days of 2017 signaled a new start. In December, Representative Charlie Crist (D-FL) and Representative Mike Johnson (R-LA) established the Honor and Civility Caucus, a bipartisan effort to restore trust and confidence in US political institutions through the ideals of civility and statesmanship. The caucus, which is also open to all members of Congress, follows Representative Johnson’s “Commitment to Civility” initiative that garnered signatures from a bipartisan group of more than 120 members.
Now, 2018 is off to an even better start. In February, Representative Joyce Beatty and Representative Steve Stivers launched the Congressional Civility and Respect Caucus. Open to any member, joining the caucus only requires that a member of congress have a partner from the other side of the aisle.
While Representatives Stivers and Beatty have different political beliefs when it comes to a number of issues, they often work together to serve the people of Ohio. This bipartisan relationship, which both members recognize as the unfortunate exception in Congress, serves as a shining example of how members can — and should — respect and work across the aisle to best serve their constituents. Together, Stivers and Beatty have tackled homelessness, veterans’ issues, human trafficking and financial literacy. Moving forward they will visit high schools and civic organizations across their districts in Central Ohio to promote the use of a respectful dialogue on tough issues. Other members of the caucus will be encouraged to do the same in their respective districts.