Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz “National Family Conversation” Taking Place At Wisconsin State Capitol
I mentioned on my blog earlier that the mood today at the State Capitol was pointed, and yet not in your face confrontational. At least that was the case from my perspective. When both the Tea Party and friends of labor took to the Square there was not the level of meanness that I expected to see. I was pleased with that. I was quite heartened that there were earnest but frank discussions underway. That is good for Wisconsin, and for democracy.
So I was glad to see that Mayor Dave Cieslewicz saw much the same this week, and blogged about it too.
This is consistent with what I’ve witnessed all week. I’ve spent a couple of hours each day on the Square and in the Capitol Building to get a feel for what’s going on and, of course, I’ve been watching the news reports both local and national. It’s clear that Madison is the focal point right now of a national conversation about the future of democracy. The protests that started with collective bargaining have spilled over into related issues of social justice and democratic process.
It’s a spirited debate in the Madison spirit. Passionate and strong but with a sense of levity too. My favorite protest sign so far: “I Blame Brett Favre.”
This is a national family conversation we’ve been putting off, but it has to happen, and it’s starting to happen right here in Madison. The conversation has been fierce, articulate, loud, and civil.
We have to work out our differences and stay together as a nation. There has to be compromise in the air somewhere. But first we all have to be heard. And the hearing seems to be starting right here at home. This is what democracy looks like.