A September 14, 2017 Florida Times-Union editorial describes several public engagement efforts in the Jacksonville, Florida area, and goes on to highlight and describe recent public forums work by veteran National Issues Forums moderator and convener, Gregg Kaufman. The following is excerpted from the editorial:
In Jacksonville, after 11 forums held to date and with more on the way, organizer Gregg Kaufman reports:
- There were 176 participants with 85 percent of them returning questionnaires.
- 8 in 10 say more police training is needed, especially in de-escalating tense situations.
Participants also noted that police face danger and that the broadcast media often contribute to skewed perceptions of negative police behavior...
...Kaufman certainly brings a uniqe perspective to promoting civic engagement in our city.
Kaufman was a Lutheran minister for 30 years before he decided to change direction and become an instructor at Georgia College, a public liberal arts school in Milledgeville.
He has held a variety of impressive roles at the college, from teaching politics, religion and civic activism courses to leading the college's Coverdell Institute.
Kaufman said the key to a sound democracy is having citizens who are open to becoming educated about issues--and willing to be actively involved in civic society.
Click here to read the entire editorial.