On Dec. 7, 2022, the first annual National Civility Summit for Local Governments will be held virtually beginning at 10 a.m. A partnership between the National League of Cities, the Iowa League of Cities, and The Center for Public Democracy at Drake University, this important event will focus on providing local governments and the officials that lead them with the tools and best practices they need to facilitate and provide engaged and participatory government.  

“Local leaders are in the midst of a civility crisis, experiencing higher rates of threats and harassment than ever,” National League of Cities CEO and Executive Director Clarence Anthony said. “But civil dialogue is so critical to functioning government and to our democracy. NLC is thrilled to work with our partners at Drake University and the Iowa League of Cities to make space for municipal leaders to discuss their experiences and share strategies they can use to address this major challenge in their communities.” 

The summit will feature presentations from a variety of speakers discussing civility from the individual as well as the structural perspective for local governments. A panel of municipal government leaders and scholars will provide local government officials, elected and appointed, with tools and best practices needed to lead an engaged and participatory government. “In a time of perceived increased incivility, local governments and the municipal officials are closest to the people and best situated to be leaders in promoting civility and ensuring the foundations of participatory government remain strong,” said Robert Palmer, General Counsel for the Iowa League of Cities.  

“The National Civility Summit for Local Government is a signature event of the Center for Public Democracy and one we are proud to host as part of our effort to strengthen civility and leadership at the local and national level,” said Drake University President Marty Martin. 

Additional details about the National Civility Summit—including registration details—are available online

The Center for Public Democracy is an initiative established through Drake’s comprehensive fundraising campaign, The Ones: Drake’s Campaign for the Brave & Bold. The Center builds upon Drake’s already strong tradition of civic engagement and seeks to generate and disseminate knowledge about American democracy through events, initiatives, research, and hands-on opportunities for students to engage in the political process. 

The National League of Cities (NLC) is an organization comprised of city, town, and village leaders that are focused on improving the quality of life for their current and future constituents. With nearly 100 years of dedication to the strength and advancement of local governments, NLC has gained the trust and support of more than 2,700 cities across the nation.  

The Iowa League of Cities (ILC) serves as the unified voice of cities, providing advocacy, training, and guidance to strengthen Iowa’s communities. More than 850 of the cities in Iowa, both large and small, are members.