Ohio Legislator Tapped To Co-Chair NICD's National Civility Network
State Leaders Working to Replace Incivility with Compromise and Cooperation

Ohio State Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) has been selected to co-chair a national network of state legislators, a program of the National Institute of Civil Discourse (NICD), which is committed to returning civility, rationality and respect to American politics. The new leadership will work to expand the Network just as the presidential primary season opens and with new polls showing American are fed up with hyper-toxicity in politics.

Howse will co-chair the bipartisan NICD National Network of State Legislators Committed to Civil Discourse with Rep. Matthew Pouliot (R-ME). The Network, created in 2015, includes state legislators who are graduates of NICD’s Next Generation workshop, Building Trust Through Civil Discourse. The training, created in 2015, includes state legislators who have pledged to practice, model and expand civil governance as a means of strengthening American democracy.

“NICD is honored to have Representative Howse leading the way toward a more civil nation,” said Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer, executive director of NICD. “Both she and Rep. Pouliot are committed to strengthening the breadth and reach of the NICD National Network, which includes more than 200 state legislators from 20 states. Together, we can begin to move away from name-calling and split parties and return to cooperation and compromise to solve the problems of our nation.”

Howse is optimistic about the Network. ”Our nation needs leaders from all political parties to join the movement to restore respectfulness to the political process even when we disagree. It is a privilege to be selected as a 2016 co-chair, and I look forward to working with fellow state legislators across the country, and across the aisle, to restore civility as the norm in American politics,” said Rep. Howse.

According to a new poll by Weber Shandwick and Powell Tate with KRC Research, political toxicity is having a big impact on Americans. Their poll, Civility in America, found that 83% of likely voters are paying close attention to national politics, and a full 93% say a candidate's tone or level of civility will be an important factor in how they cast their votes in the 2016 presidential election. Moreover, half of all likely voters (51 percent) say they had not voted for a candidate in the past because of uncivil behavior.

NICD is a nonprofit, nonpartisan Institute based at the University of Arizona dedicated to transforming incivility and political dysfunction in American democracy by creating and modeling structural and behavioral changes.

Editor’s note: A brief biography for Rep. Stephanie Howse can be seen below:

 Representative Stephanie Howse


Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, State Representative Stephanie Howse has lived most of her life in the Ward 7 community. Howse is a graduate of the Cleveland School of the Arts where she studied vocal and instrumental music.

Stephanie earned her undergraduate degree in Civil Environmental Engineering from Florida A&M University and her Master's degree in Environmental Studies from Cleveland State University. In 2002, while studying for her Masters and working a full-time position with Stephan J. Sebesta & Associates, Inc, Howse took the first step in heeding her call to public and community service by founding Footprints, a girls’ leadership development and mentoring organization operating inside Thurgood Marshall Recreation Center dedicated to nurturing and cultivating a positive self-image for girls ages 9 - 17, while building character on the principles of Self Respect; Life Endeavors; Community and the Arts.

In addition to her work with Footprints, Howse's work in Ward 7 expanded when she was appointed to the Cleveland City Council replacing the late Honorable Fannie M. Lewis.

Representative Howse's commitment to public service was inspired by her mother Annie L. Key, a former State Representative. In addition to Howse's experience as an engineer, her career experiences include being selected as a Fellow - Cleveland Executive Fellowship a program of the Cleveland Foundation, Cleveland Field Director - Ohio Democratic Party, Substitute Teacher - Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Consultant. 

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