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SALT LAKE CITY - Utah Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker join together as co-chairs on January 6, 2011, at 11:30 a.m. at Memorial House in Memory Grove Park, 485 North Canyon Road, to kick off the Utah Civility and Community 2011 Initiative.  

The initiative is based on a simple, immutable concept: "In Utah, we are committed to respectful discourse and behavior toward all people. Further, we are committed to being a welcoming, inclusive and caring community."

While Utah's political and media leadership have made formal, public calls for civil discourse in the past year, Lt. Governor Bell and Mayor Becker, along with community leaders statewide, will join together to initiate a grassroots effort - one aimed at involving business, civic and neighborhood groups in a pledge to thoughtful dialogue on civility, community and our democracy.

"The simple message of the Civility initiative is one we believe everyone can get behind and benefit from as we all strive to treat those around us with respect ," said Lt. Governor Greg Bell. "The best solutions and results for our community come from collaborative efforts - and true collaboration demands civility and respect for one another."

"Certainly we have all seen, or personally experienced, a trend that is taking us away from polite and thoughtful discourse in the political arena, between groups with differing opinions and even at the level of our everyday, personal interactions," Mayor Becker said. "This effort is not just a reminder of decorum, but a call to action, for all Utahns to commit to a higher level of respect and civility in all areas of our lives."

Tenets of the initiative call for community-based launches of civility efforts and will include regional, one-day training sessions for individuals and organizations. A web-based resource center will debut simultaneously with the launch tomorrow. The site will feature extensive training and multi-media tools for individuals and community groups to attain their initiative goals.

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