Civility, Connection and Vision
The CCV Series is a set of creative and wide-ranging initiatives that seek to form a healthy, vibrant civic identity for Georgians. It’s a social laboratory to amplify and activate our key values – practicing Civility, pursuing Connection, and building Vision for Georgia.
Our most citizen-centric initiatives, the CCV Series can include everything from hosting legislative breakfasts to coauthoring the Georgia Civic Health Index to Oxford-style panel debates. These events foster social cohesion and civil discourse in service of establishing greater civic identity for Georgians.
In 2020 we’ve conducted our CCV Series virtually. Please enjoy our webinars recorded and annotated for your convenience.
Let Your Voice Be Heard: How, When, and Why to Vote
September 15, 2020
GeorgiaForward was pleased to welcome Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Carter Center Chair Jason Carter, Doctor Andra Gillespie of Emory University, and Janet Lee of the U.S. Census Bureau to a deep dive discussion on voting.
- “The shortest line you’ll have, obviously, is at your kitchen table when you vote absentee.” 6:48
- “Our elections have become almost sad events.” 11:40
- “I said, ‘Hey, how long have you been in this line?’ and he said, ‘Oh I’ve been here about six and a half hours.’ I said, ‘Oh I’m sorry you had to wait so long.’ And he said, ‘Oh sir, I’ve been waiting so much longer.’ And it just makes you realize, I think, the way in which our vote and right to vote is preservative of all the others. It defines our role in our community.” 15:27
- “[Y]ou come to this office in awe and reverence for the people who’ve gone before.” 36:24
- “Simply stated, the Census is the precursor to voting. There are two reasons why we conduct the Census: power and money.” 39:30
- “[I]f you don’t show up [to vote] you’re truly irrelevant . . . To stay home does not do a service to your view that you’re looking for someone better. What it does is it sends a message that you don’t care.” 50:33
- “I’m very proud to be a Georgian. I think we have a history that is a microcosm of the struggle that our country has undergone and the transformation that our country has undergone.” 52:28
- “We have to get a hold of this increasing partisan intolerance. I know how difficult it is but we all have to take steps to make sure that we get to know people and that we don’t stereotype and defame people whose political beliefs are different from ours.” 59:08
- Georgia My Voter page: register to vote, find your polling place, review a sample ballot, and more!
- Serve your community by becoming a poll worker
- Request your absentee ballot online
- Fill out your U.S. Census so that Georgia can Be Counted!
- Curious about your city and county Census response rates?
- 2020 Georgia election deadlines
- Senator Carter’s op-ed about the Carter Center’s campaign to strengthen transparency and trust in the US election progress
- A RAND Corporation report comparing US states shows Georgia in the top ten for keeping voters safe in a COVID-19 election
- Pew Research on why eligible voters chose not to vote in 2016
- Press release on GeorgiaForward partnership with Secretary of State
Local News, Democracy, and You
June 24, 2020
Three veteran and venerable journalists joined us for a frank discussion of the state of local news in our state: Teya Ryan, CEO and President of Georgia Public Broadcasting; Maria Saporta, Founder of the Saporta Report and Contributing Writer to the Atlanta Business Chronicle; Len Robbins, Editor and Publisher of four community newspapers in South Georgia: The Clinch County News, Lanier County Advocate, Atkinson County Citizen, and Echols County Echo.
- “This is very serious. There are two studies that show that if there is no newspaper in a community, no matter how large or how small, that community economically suffers.” 8:45
- “The other thing that I think is undervalued a lot of times is the historical record that these newspapers provide for these communities. We’re really the only historical record for those communities. For instance with a person, in our pages we’ll have when they’re born in a birth announcement, when they graduate from high school, have that in our pages, when they get married, when they get a DUI, when hopefully they do something good like get a promotion or win an award and also when they die they’ll be in our obituaries. Their whole life’s story can be in a community newspaper. And if we don’t have that community newspaper doing that, nobody else is going to do that I don’t think.” 12:32
- “This is required, to publicly advertise bids, budgets, public hearings, and if we don’t have a generally circulated public newspaper how are we going to get it done? In that sense it’s a public service and in many cases it’s the law.” 14:50
- “The business dynamics of what made newspapers and television stations and all that thrive, those factors are no longer working.” 28:12
- “Every study I’ve looked at says if you are a person that does not trust the media – but there’s a caveat to that usually – they trust their local media. They trust Len. Okay. They don’t trust ‘the media’, but they trust Len. That’s why losing media in communities is so frightening because actually they’re pretty well-trusted.” 32:02
- “Yes there are a lot of rumors out there, but let’s not get too precious about our background as journalists. If you’re a student of journalism history – which I am – we come from a long background of liars and people that created whole newspaper empires for their own political opinion.” 32:49
- “Unless you’re a total crook you want as many journalists following [you as possible].” 39:35
- “The scary part is when you don’t know what politicians are doing.” 41:26
- “We’re really trying to train journalists to really follow through on how a community is responding to a problem. Not what the problem is but how are we progressing to solve it.” 45:26
- “I am very very interested in how I reach people with my news that won’t normally come to me. what tools do I need to use that will engage with them, because there are increasingly more and more people like that . . . How do I use the power of [TikTok] to get to people that normally wouldn’t come to me?” 46:41
- “At the same time, I am the person that picks up a newspaper – a physical newspaper – two of them – every day and reads a physical newspaper. I will never give that up, ever.” 48:15
- I think we’re talking about restructuring the whole model of what journalism means.” 51:20
- “The good news is that people want to know what’s going on in their community, in their state, in their nation. It doesn’t matter what age they are, 8 to 88. The problem or the challenge for us is that the people that are 88, and the people that are 8, and then all the different ages and demographics, want their news delivered in different ways . . . We’ve got to find that new business model that works for everybody.” 51:57
- “I feel more hopeful. And I feel more motivated.” 57:37
Special thanks to GeorgiaForward Board Member Bill Bolling for moderating.
- Atkinson County Citizen
- The Clinch County News & The Echols County Echo
- The Flip Side
- Georgia Press Association
- Georgia Public Broadcasting
- GeorgiaCEO: Network focused on local business communities in thirteen Georgia cities.
- Lanier County Advocate
- Solutions Journalism Network
- Research and discussion on the negative economic impact of newspaper closures
- Brookings report on the crisis of local journalism
- Harvard Business Review on journalism’s market failure equaling a crisis for democracy
- U.S. Press Freedom Trackers keeps a running tally of how many journalists have been arrested, attacked, or aggressed upon in the United States