A man who served Iowa for 30 years in Washington D.C., was back in the state on Friday. He was back on a mission of civility.
Jim Leach was first elected to the US House of Representatives in 1976. He was elected to serve his district based in his hometown of Davenport and the Quad City area. During his last term, he represented the Iowa City area. He still maintains a home there today.
Mr. Leach is now Chairman Leach of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He’s making 50 speeches in 50 states to talk about how we can be better citizens, better Americans and do it while being more civil to one another.
Friday, June 18th’s event was held at the Principal Financial Group’s main auditorium in Des Moines. The event was called Better Together – Creating Community through Civility. Several groups are making this happen including partners of Character Counts in Iowa, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, Drake University and Interfaith Alliance of Iowa. Sponsors are Principal Financial Group, Bankers Trust, The Business Record, The Des Moines Register and Zanda Design.
We were there with a couple of Iowa Public Television cameras. We did live stream the event on IPTV.org. You can watch the entire program from beginning to end by clicking here. That stream was operated by Danny Engesser, one of the hard-working people behind the scenes that help bring you many web events and aspects of IPTV.
We also put together an hour of TV for that night that included the speech and some questions from me earlier in the day. Our program was called Conversations on Civility with Jim Leach.
That 1 hour program is viewable by clicking here.
But not all the interview made it into the broadcast. That includes an interview with Chairman Leach that lives here. We talk blogs, media, politics and even baseball. That interview lives here. It was the first time I’d interviewed Mr. Leach in a while, not since his days in the QC when I was working for KWQC. I interviewed him following his trip to the polls in November, 2000.
The next event in the Better Together series is September 16 with Bill Bishop, author of The Big Sort. That will be held at Sheslow Auditorium at Drake University. Then October 5th, a panel discussion with community leaders entitled Democracy and Etiquette: How do we Maintain Civility in a Fractured Society.
Also in February 2011 will be a program with Dr. P.M. Forni, author of Choosing Civility: The Twenty Five Rules of Considerate Conduct.
Keep watching IPTV for further updates on our plan for coverage. You can also view the BetterTogetherIowa.com webpage for more information as well.