The co-presidents of the freshman class of the 115th Congress — Reps. Nanette Diaz Barragán, D-California, Jack Bergman, R-Michigan, Val Demings, D-Florida and Donald McEachin, D-Virginia — hosted the signing with the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington-based think tank, in an effort to rededicate to respect and civility across party lines.
Many members of Congress attended the news conference or stopped by in order to add their names to the pledge, which was first introduced and signed by nearly the entire freshman class in January. The recommitment comes in conjunction the “summer of civility,” a new initiative from the BPC.
As part of the “summer of civility,” launched in response to last week’s shooting, the organization is asking members of Congress to share videos describing actions they have taken or are planning to take to demonstrate their commitment to civility. The organization is also calling for July 4 to be a day of respect and positive messages, BPC senior vice president Michele Stockwell said.
Ultimately, BPC Senior Vice President G. William Hoagland noted, aggressive partisanship is expected and welcomed in a democracy, but concurrent with the need to recognize and continue to strive for civility.
“It should not take such tragedies to restore needed respect for all individuals, regardless of party affiliation,” he said.
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KEYWORDS: 115TH CONGRESS, BILL HOAGLAND, BIPARTISANSHIP, MICHELE STOCKWELL