Here is an oped I wrote with John Theis of LSC-Kingwood.
While we lament the decline of civil discourse and participation in civic life, we often overlook how we can reverse these trends by focusing on what happens in our own backyard. If we can improve the quality of our discourse and increase our levels of meaningful participation, then positive political change will result. The improvements will not happen overnight nor will they happen on a grand scale, but they can occur if we shift our gaze to ourselves and our local communities. There is no need to let the polarization and partisan bickering in Washington deter us from making meaningful change and elevating our discourse at the local level.