A role for League members

KQED’s morning radio program “Forum” hosted by Michael Krasny provides lively, civilized discussion on issues affecting the Bay Area every morning at 9:00 AM, with a repeat at 10:00 PM. This morning’s program offered perspectives on the civility (or lack of it) in S.F. government meetings:
Political and Personal Civility — In light of recent personal allegations against Mayor Gavin Newsom, the program looks at personal and public civility. Guests include James Donahue, president and professor of Ethics at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley; Don Hanlon Johnson, professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and author of “Everyday Hopes, Utopian Dreams”; and Lisa Stone, co-founder of BlogHer, a women’s media company based in Palo Alto.

For those who were not able to hear it this morning, July 10, the program will be available for downloading as a podcast through the NPR website or iTunes. Even if you don’t have time to listen to the entire broadcast, you’ll find lots to think about in the discussion of recent interactions at the S.F. Board of Supervisor’s meetings. Every citizen has a stake in how their local government is functioning, but members of the League have a special role to play in ensuring that public business is carried on effectively. For many years League members have monitored public meetings of the Board of Supervisors and city Commissions. This is an important role, and one that is difficult to maintain as people’s lives become crowded with work, family and personal obligations. But the presence of serious, informed citizens at public meetings can help to keep our elected officials on track for running the government in a sensible, civil atmosphere that promotes good discussion and resolution of problems. Those of you who have never observed a meeting of the Board of Supervisors should visit one. You will see a new face for our local government and get a sense of how the city works. For further information about the schedule of city meetings, check out the links on the League’s website, or send an email to lwvsf@lwv.org. City government belongs to all of us, let’s keep our eyes on it.

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