Sept. 12, 2023
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Govs. Cox and Sununu urge Americans to “Disagree Better” at New Hampshire event
National Governors Association convenes governors for bipartisan discussion on toxic polarization
MANCHESTER, NH (Sept. 12, 2023) – National Governors Association Chair Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu welcomed governors, national experts and students to New Hampshire for the first 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 Maine Gov. Janet Mills, Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey, New Jersey Gov./NGA Past Chair Phil Murphy, Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee and Vermont Gov. Phil Scott.
“Americans are tired of the nasty and endless bickering that characterizes our politics and gets in the way of solving our biggest problems,” said Gov. Cox. “Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, we all love this country, and it is critical that we find common ground and constructive ways to work together to solve our challenges. We can debate ideas without attacking each other.”
“Governors have a long track record of working across party lines to get things done,” said Gov. Sununu. “Partisan gridlock in America is standing in the way of achieving our potential. I’m proud to welcome Disagree Better to New Hampshire, and to explore better ways to disagree, find common ground, and move our country in a positive direction.”
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.
Centered on the theme of Correcting Misperceptions and Highlighting Commonalities, the event featured panel discussions with bipartisan experts leading nationwide efforts to reduce partisan animosity and foster healthy conflict; a debate facilitated by Braver Angels, a nonprofit dedicated to political depolarization; and a service project, “Show Up for Teachers.”
Learn more about the Disagree Better initiative, and upcoming bipartisan events, on the NGA website.