Cape Gazette
http://capegazette.villagesoup.com/p/1187169

It's time to elevate public discourse

By Brian G. Pettyjohn | May 31, 2014

The People of Delaware are in agreement that the top priorities in this year’s election are centered on growing our state’s economy, creating jobs and reforming our educational system to ensure that our children are prepared to compete in the global market. No matter what party you affiliate yourself with, these are issues that resonate with families from Gumboro to Greenville. And these are issues that I have heard discussed repeatedly in the district which I am fortunate to represent.

Over the last week, our shared goals of opportunity and economic growth for all have been tested by a select few from both the Democratic and Republican parties who have used language which is less then civil, and it must stop. We have a responsibility to embrace all ideas and all people, and not see ourselves as divided along arbitrary lines. The public’s willingness to support our causes as elected officials has been damaged by the events of the last week, and the confidence that they have place in us must be strengthened.

It is time to elevate the public discourse towards resolving pressing issues that hurt us all. Issues such as continuing inequality in education for our children, taxation policies that hurt the middle class and stifle job growth, and curbing the growing tide of substance abuse and crime that destroys families and communities are ones that should be discussed candidly. We have a duty as elected officials to listen to all people and not discount any idea regardless of the source, to engage in productive, meaningful and respectful dialogue, and to do what is best for all those we represent.

Brian G. Pettyjohn
State Senator, 19th District

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