Column: A pledge of respect, productive dialogue


Commentary by Jeff Worrell

Over the last few months, I have felt compelled to offer opportunities to promote civility in our community. Hosting successful events titled “We Can Do Better” with author Alexandra Hudson to discuss her book, “The Soul of Civility,” has shown me that our city is eager for more civil discourse. Based on feedback from attendees, I was urged to develop a candidate pledge. Seeking guidance, I discovered our 115th United States Congress did just that.

In 2017, 120 incoming members of both parties of Congress signed a civility pledge that proclaimed, “To this end, we are dedicated to showing proper respect to one another and all others, encouraging productive dialogue, and modeling civility in our public and private actions.”

The Carmel Candidate Pledge proved to be too lofty, too much to ask in 2024. And so, our airwaves and mailboxes will most likely continue to contain negative, misleading and unflattering campaign rhetoric. Candidates can easily hide behind the cloak of Super PACs to disguise their involvement and claim unawareness. But as a community, should we demand honest and straightforward dialogue?

As you evaluate those who want to lead and campaign for your precious vote, do they demonstrate the noble trait of civility? If so, show your appreciation.

To view the Congressional Civility Pledge, visit