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Govs. Cox and Polis call for healthy political debate at Colorado NGA event

NEWS RELEASE

Nov. 14, 2023 

Contact:

Emma Williams 

Office of the Governor

(385) 303-4383, ewilliams@utah.gov 

Govs. Cox and Polis call for healthy political debate at Colorado NGA event

WESTMINSTER, CO (Nov. 14, 2023) – National Governors Association (NGA) Chair Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and NGA Vice Chair Colorado Gov. Jared Polis collaborated for the second in a series of bipartisan events to help address toxic polarization in America – the aim of Gov. Cox’s 2023-24 NGA Chair’s Initiative: Disagree Better.

The bipartisan event was also attended by Gov. Greg Gianforte, Montana, and Gov. Kevin Stitt, Oklahoma.

“Political polarization has reached a crisis point,” said Gov. Cox. “Partisan animosity doesn’t just create government gridlock. It generates political violence and endangers America’s role on the world stage. I’m proud that governors are stepping up to demonstrate that it’s possible – and imperative – for Republicans and Democrats to disagree strongly without hating each other. We can stand up for our principles without tearing each other down.”

“Whatever your political party, we all love this great country and want the best for it,” said Gov. Polis. “Coloradans know that the best solutions come when you listen to all sides and work together. The Disagree Better initiative is all about moving past name-calling and resolving differences in the right way.”

The Westminster, Colorado, event centered on teaching youth about healthy conflict and fostering open debate, free expression and viewpoint diversity in higher education. In addition to panel discussions and a service project focused on Unified Sports, the event also featured a student debate at the University of Denver, facilitated by Braver Angels.

Launched in July, Disagree Better is a yearlong initiative to help Americans learn the skills of healthy conflict. The effort aims to change the political behavior of both voters and elected officials, showing that the right kind of conflict often leads to better policy, can be more successful politically than negative campaigning, and is the pathway to restoring trust in our political institutions.

During the event, Gov. Cox shared Disagree Better’s latest bipartisan video, featuring

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican.

Learn more about the Disagree Better initiative, and upcoming bipartisan events, on the NGA website.

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