In Honor of Conflict Resolution
On Friday, March 10th the Colorado General Assembly passed the Conflict Resolution Joint Resolution of which I was proud to be the Co-Prime Sponsor. These were my remarks to the floor:
“Madame Speaker, I move SJR 17-and ask that it be read at length.
Conflict is endemic in what we do. We meet for hours every day on the floor and in committees. We confront each other at the core of our beliefs about issues of policy, and sometimes of politics, as we attempt to craft the best laws for the people of Colorado. Politics, it is said, is the art of compromise- moving from conflict to conversation to respectful resolution. We pass over 400 bills a year for the Governor to sign, all on a bipartisan basis, most by votes with overwhelming majorities. We unanimously agree on scores of issues and resolutions. We strive to disagree respectfully without being disagreeable. We do so, I suggest, because, most of the time, we know how to engage in conflict resolution. Daily we model it for the citizens of Colorado. Today, by this Resolution, we join Governor Hickenlooper recognizing October as Conflict Resolution Month and we commend it to the people of Colorado.
Conflict resolution is based on mutual respect, both for the other side and for their position. It is based on the shared goal to find common ground for the common good. It is based on civility and the willingness to compromise. The alternatives to conflict resolution are chaos and despair. Nationally, the failure of conflict resolution is Ferguson Missouri. Internationally, consider Syria, Yemen, Israel and Palestine, Ukraine and scores of others where compromise is a lost art and civility an unknown virtue.
By this Resolution we recognize the people whose lives are committed to conflict resolution- the mediators, arbitrators, counselors, the restorative justice facilitators, the judges and the magistrates-those who help others to find common ground, to promote understanding and to preserve relationships, renew hope and improve people’s lives. Whether in courtrooms, classrooms, board rooms, committee rooms or playrooms, I salute the peacemakers. May they always prevail.
I urge an Aye Vote on this resolution.”