CivicCLP Announces Next Forum For Its “Let’s Talk About…” Series

Pittsburgh, PA  –   – 

CivicCLP, a civic engagement initiative with Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, announced a topic and date for the second forum in its “Let’s Talk About…” series. Continuing its partnership with the Art of Democracy, CivicCLP invites residents from across the region to think together about public safety and police reform.

What: CivicCLP: Let’s Talk About…Public Safety and Police Reform

When: Wednesday April 7 | 6:00-7:30 pm

Registration: carnegielibrary.org/civicclp/lets-talk-about-series

Contact: Jessica Bayless, baylessj@carnegielibrary.org, 412-622-3319

The CivicCLP “Let’s Talk About…” series employs an innovative online engagement tool–Common Ground for Action–created by the nonpartisan National Issues Forums (NIF) to support “sustained practices of public deliberation on campuses and in communities across the country.” For Let’s Talk About…Public Safety and Police Reform, participants will consider issue guides and resources created by the NIF for a national conversation alongside the recommendations put forth in the October 2020 report by the Pittsburgh Community Taskforce for Police Reform.

Let’s Talk About…Public Safety and Police Reform provides the following opportunity for informed and inclusive online engagement on Wednesday April 7, 6:00-7:30 pm. At the conclusion of this online forum, participants will complete a survey. Survey results from these local conversations will be added to a developing national database of informed public opinion resulting from deliberative engagement events being hosted in communities and on college campuses throughout the United States as part of the National Issues Forums With the People initiative.

CivicCLP is a three-year, grant-funded initiative which aims to provide the community with a greater understanding of the importance of the First Amendment in civic life through enhanced Library programs, services and resources. For this initiative, CivicCLP will partner with the Art of Democracy, a Pittsburgh civic engagement consultancy focused on engaging difference as a resource for civic innovation.

According to Jessica Bayless, Civic & Social Information Services Lead Librarian, “This partnership focuses on inclusion. We are committed to tapping into existing networks that will help us uncover and reveal a wide and diverse range of perspectives on these difficult issues. Providing people from diverse backgrounds with the opportunity to engage neighbors they may not often hear from or listen to, we hope to engage local people in ways that spur them towards further engagement and action in the future.”

The Art of Democracy will facilitate online engagement and make sure that local voices are integrated with the national initiative for deliberative civic engagement spearheaded by the National Issues Forum. As Tim Dawson, founder and co-principal of the Art of Democracy explains, “In a democracy, the voice of the people should guide the work of policy makers. Public deliberation provides an opportunity for people to ‘think out loud and together’: to learn from one another and to gain a richer understanding of the problems and possibilities we have as a community. When our opinions are informed by expert information and by the lived experience of our diverse neighbors, the guidance we give policymakers is more likely to address our problems and take advantage of our opportunities in equitable ways.”

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