Gheesh…it’s sad this even has to be a thing…
BOSTON – During his term in leadership at the Council, Boston City Council President Ed Flynn emphasized the importance of respect and decorum. He has organized a series of trainings with colleagues and staff focusing on ethics and professionalism. Now, in partnership with the State Legislative Leaders Foundation and the National Institute for Civil Discourse, Council President Flynn has coordinated a civility workshop for the Boston City Council on October 12th, aimed at encouraging civility and facilitating discussions on how to bridge across differences.
State Legislative Leaders Foundation and the National Institute for Civil Discourse are nationally recognized nonpartisan organizations that provide resources and training to municipalities across the country. The training on October 12 will be facilitated by six municipal elected officials and leaders from across the country, who will lead City Councilors and staff on discussions about their experiences, finding common ground, and come up with action steps on maintaining civility.
“The purpose of the civility workshop is to get participants to see each other as individuals rather than their political ideologies,” said Thom Little, Director of Curriculum Development & Research at the State Legislative Leaders Foundation. “If they can build relationships with each other, they can work together more effectively.”
The civility workshop on October 12 is the latest in his effort to foster civility and strengthening ethics in the Boston City Council. In recent months, Council President Flynn hosted a Massachusetts State Ethics Training that covered conflict of interest law, gift restrictions, code of conduct and related ethics issues. In August and September, Council President Flynn also held two working sessions regarding an Anti-Bullying Policy for the City Council that he previously introduced in May. The City Council has previously held trainings related to the Open Meeting Law and the Public Records Law, along with annual compliance and Massachusetts Commision Against Discrimination (MCAD) training. He has held multiple working sessions with the City Clerk and colleagues to review the Boston City Council Rules adopted by the body.
Council President Flynn assumed leadership of the body during a particularly difficult time in our city and country; navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent transition back to in-person work and Council meetings, a new budget process, as well as a number of ethical and legal lapses from several Council colleagues. Council President Flynn has spoken at length on several occasions, on both the Council floor as well as via memos to colleagues, on the critical need for civility, professionalism and decorum.
“As Council President, I have often focused on the importance of treating each other with respect and dignity, and maintaining civility and professionalism in the City Council. As elected officials, we need to set the standard for the public with how we interact with one another while conducting the people’s business,” said Council President Flynn. “This civility training will bring new perspectives and ideas on how to engage with each other respectfully even if we have differences, and help us promote a culture of civility in the City Council. I look forward to engaging with my colleagues in this training.”
For more information, please contact Council President Flynn’s office at 617-635-3203 and [email protected].