Open letter regarding civility in public discourse

The Detroit News
An open letter spearheaded by Gov. Rick Snyder states: "Michigan can show the world how we can disagree without being disagreeable, how we can debate without personal attacks, and how we can solve more problems together than we can apart."

Editor's note: There are more than 220 individuals and groups who have signed on to this letter, spearheaded by Gov. Rick Snyder.

We, the undersigned, representing a diverse group of citizens dedicated to the principles that made this country great, do hereby commit to standing up for civility in public debate and discussions of policy.

The United States is a great nation because we can find ways to work together, create solutions and solve problems. Our great country is increasingly at risk of losing its way as we see debate and discussion turn into personal attacks and vicious threats. Discouraging people from public engagement while leaving issues unaddressed is not the America we know it to truly be.

We stand committed and we stand together to focus discussions and debates on the issues at hand. We are not saying we will always agree on the solutions to problems, or even on what the most important problems are. We stand ready to speak up for what we believe in and advocate for the best solutions we can support. But — most important — we stand together for civility and we encourage others to join us.

Michigan can show the world how we can disagree without being disagreeable, how we can debate without personal attacks, and how we can solve more problems together than we can apart. To join this effort, please sign up at www.civilityforus.com.

Gov. Rick Snyder, State of Michigan

Alan Ackerman, Ackerman Ackerman & Dynkowski

Barbara Allushuski, Blue Heron

Gerard M. Anderson, DTE Energy

Joseph B. Anderson, Jr., TAG Holdings, LLC

Linda H. Apsey, ITC Holdings Corp.

Dennis Archer, Jr., Archer Corporate Services, LLC

Amber Arellano, The Education Trust – Midwest

Carl Bednarski, Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies

Rick Baker, Grand Rapids Chamber

President Donald J. Bachand, Saginaw Valley State University

Mayor Bryan K. Barnett, City of Rochester Hills

Sandy Baruah, Detroit Regional Chamber

Mark Bassett, Hemlock Semiconductor (HSC)

Rev. Brian D. Bennett, Overflow Church, Benton Harbor, MI

U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman, 1st Congressional District

J. Michael Bernard, Dykema Gossett PLLC

Matthew Bierlein, Michigan Association of Counties

Don Bigger, Michigan Fire Service Instructors Association

U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop, 8th Congressional District

Brian Bitton, National Heritage Academies

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, City of Grand Rapids

Jase Bolger, Tusker Strategies

Chancellor Susan Borrego, University of Michigan -- Flint

Greg Bozimowski, Michigan Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Ron Brenke, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)

Christopher Brochert, Lormax Stern Development Co.

Lisa Brush, The Stewardship Network

Mary Buchzeiger, Lucerne International

Matt Bulloch, TraverseCONNECT

Chris Bunch, Six Rivers Land Conservancy

Dan Buron, Goodwill Association of Michigan

Carolyn Cassin, Michigan Women Forward

Beth Chappell, Rediminds, Inc.

Taoqu Chen, National Association of Asian American Professionals Detroit Chapter

Stacie Clayton, Michigan Civil Rights Commissioner

Rev. Dr. Deedee M. Coleman, Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity, Inc.

Dr. Hurley J. Coleman, Jr., World Outreach Campus Church

Rob Collier, Council of Michigan Foundations

Bishop Ira Combs, Diocesan Bishop of The Northern District Council of the PAofW

Scott Connors, Michigan Society of Professional Engineers

Hank Cooney, Plunkett Cooney

George Corona, Kelly Services, Inc

Matthew P. Cullen, JACK Entertainment

Tim Daman, Lansing Regional Chamber

Tim Damschroder, Michigan Health Endowment Fund

Kurt L. Darrow, La-Z-Boy Incorporated

Pat Devlin, Michigan Building & Construction Trades Council

Doug L. DeVos, Amway

Alessandro DiNello, Flagstar Bank

John Dingell, Former U.S. Representative

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, 12th Congressional District

Hoa T. Dinh, Vietnamese American Association of Michigan

Mark Docherty, Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union President

Scott Dodge, Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds

Beth Domagalski, Michigan Dental Hygienists’ Association

Denise Donohue, County Road Association of Michigan

Eugene Driker, Barris Sott Denn Driker

Scott Dumaw, Michigan Agri-Business Association

Luann Dunsford, Michigan Works! Association

Peggy Dzierzawski, Michigan Association of CPAs

Interim President John Engler, Michigan State University

President Fritz Erickson, Northern Michigan University

Dr. Fern Espino, Espino Enterprises Inc.

Judge Russell Ethridge, City of Grosse Pointe

Dr. Haifa Fakhouri, Arab American and Chaldean Council

Scott Ferriman, MAHLE Industries, Incorporated

Rob Figurski, Michigan Association of Police Organizations

Bob Filka, Home Builders Association of Michigan

Nancy Finegood, Michigan Historic Preservation Network

Mike Flanagan, Former State Superintendent

David Foltyn, Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn LLP

Rob Fowler, Small Business Association of Michigan

Matt Friedman, Tanner Friedman Strategic Communications

Richard Gabrys, Mears Investments

Noel Garcia, Jr, Hispanic Latino Commission of Michigan

Ambassador Yousif Ghafari

Dan Gilmartin, Michigan Municipal League

Paul Glantz, Emagine Entertainment, Inc.

Dan Gordon, Gordon Food Service, Inc.

Kenneth E. Grabowski, Police Officers Association of Michigan

Michael K. Grady, Gracon Services, Inc

Lisa Gray, Chinese Association of Greater Detroit (CAGD)

Lisa Gray, North American Chinese Coalition (NACC-Michigan)

Michael Grodi, Deputy Sheriffs Association of Michigan

President Thomas J. Haas, Grand Valley State University

Jim Hackett, Ford Motor Company

James Hallan, Michigan Retailers Association

Kouhaila Hammer, Ghafari Associates, LLC

Steve Hamp, Michigan Education Excellence Foundation

Richard Hampson, Citizens Bank

President Rodney S. Hanley, Lake Superior State University

Michael J. Hanley, Saginaw County Clerk

Clark Harder, Michigan Public Transit Association

Dr. Mary Jane Herb, Ph.D. IHM Sisters

Tim Herman, Flint & Genesee County Chamber of Commerce

Paul Hillegonds, Michigan Health Endowment Fund

President Ora Hirsch, Pescovitz Oakland University

Dr. Jamie Hsu, Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commision

U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, 2nd Congressional District

Daniel J. Hurley, Michigan Association of State Universities

Roldand Hwang, Association of Chinese Americans

Hassan Jaber, ACCESS

John James Sr., James Group International

Lorron James, James Group International

Mike Jandernoa, 42 North Partners

Mike Janowicz, Michigan Bean Shippers

Nate Johnson, Michigan State Police Troopers Association

President Russell Kavalhuna, Henry Ford College

Peter Kellett, Dykema Gossett PLLC

Thomas Kelly, Automation Alley

John C. Kennedy, Autocam Medical

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, 5th Congressional District

Stephen M. Kircher, Boyne Resorts

Ron Kitchens, Southwest Michigan First

Justin Klimko, Butzel Long, a Professional Corporation

Birgit Klohs, The Right Place

Chris Kolb, Michigan Environmental Council

President Richard Koubek, Michigan Technological University

Ronia Kruse, OpTech, LLC

Wright Lassiter, Henry Ford Health System

U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, 14th Congressional District

Grace Lee, Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce (APACC)

Janilla Lee, Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission

Rev. H. Michael Lemmons, African Methodist Episcopal Church

Speaker of the House Tom Leonard, Michigan House of Representatives

U.S. Rep. Sandy Levin, 9th Congressional District

Ed Levy, Jr., Edw. C. Levy Co.

David Lewis, AT&T

Bill Lichwalla, Plante Moran CRESA

John Lindenmayer, The League of Michigan Bicyclists

Chancellor Daniel Little, University of Michigan-Dearborn

Daniel J. Loepp, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Kathleen Lomako, Metropolitan Affairs Coalition

Doug Luciani, TraverseCONNECT

Lisa Lunsford, GS3

Chris MacInnes, Crystal Mountain

Jim MacInnes, Crystal Mountain

Ryan Maibach, Barton Malow Company

Ben C. Maibach III, Barton Malow Company

Martin Manna, Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce

Robert Mannes, Core Energy

Florine Mark, The Weight Watchers Group, Inc.

Toshiki Masaki, The Detroit Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League

Charles G. McClure, Michigan Capital Advisors

Erin McDnough, Michigan Oil and Gas Association

Ralph McDowwell, Bodman PLC

Michael McGee, Miller Canfield

Dr. Su McKeithen-Polish, Thai-American Association of Michigan

Michael Meade, Henry Ford College

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, Michigan Senate

G. Lawrence Merrill, Merrill Michigan Townships Association

Betsy Meter, KPMG LLP

Jean Meyer, St. John Providence Health System

Dr. Mary Miller, Michigan Optometric Association

Dr. William Miller, Ph.D., Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators

Frederick K. Minturn, MSX International

U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell, 10th Congressional District

President Ed Montgomery, Western Michigan University

U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar, 4th Congressional District

Patricia Mooradian, The Henry Ford

Minnie Morey, West Michigan Asian American Association Inc

Leslie Murphy, Murphy Consulting, Inc.

Doug Needham, Michigan Aggregates Association

Spencer Nevins, Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association

Phillip Nguyen, Vietnamese American Community of Grand Rapids

Krystoffer Nicholoff, Michigan Osteopathic Association

James B. Nicholson, PVS Chemicals, Inc.

Anne Norlander, Calhoun County Clerk and Register of Deeds

Charles Owens, NFIB in Michigan

Dominick Pallone, Michigan Association of Health Plans

William U. Parfet, Northwood Group

Cynthia J. Pasky, Strategic Staffing Solutions

Dr. Deb Peters, Michigan Dental Association

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, Congress

Mark Petroff, Marketing Associates LLC

Stephen Polk, Highgate LLC

Daniel Ponder, Franco Public Relations Group

Patricia K. Poppe, CMS Energy & Consumers Energy

Chancellor Peter Provenzano, Oakland Community College

Bill Pumphrey, Cooper Standard

Justin Remington, The Remington Group

Peter Remington, The Remington Group

Randy Richardville, Former Senate Majority Leader

Michael Ritchie, Comerica Incorporated

President George E. Ross, Central Michigan University

Doug Rothwell, Business Leaders for Michigan

Laura Rubin, Huron River Watershed Council

Michael Sauger, The Michigan Fraternal Order of Police

John Scanlon, Phoenix Composite Solutions, LLC

President Mark S. Schlissel, University of Michigan

Kevin Schlueter, Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce

Mayor Andy Schor, City of Lansing

David Segura VisionIT

Suzanne Shank, Siebert Cisneros Shank & Company LLC

William Sheffer, Michigan Manufactured Housing Association

House Minority Leader Sam Singh, Michigan House of Representatives

President James M. Smith, Eastern Michigan University

Brig Sorber, Two Men And A Truck/International, Inc.

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Congress

Rich Studley, Michigan Chamber of Commerce

La June Montgomery Tabron, WK Kellogg Foundation

Don Tanner, Tanner Friedman Strategic Communications

Jessica Taylor, Chance For Life Organization

Anthony Tedeschi, Detroit Medical Center

Ray Telang, PwC

Christopher Thomas, Fontinalis Partners LLC

Gary Torgow, Chemical Financial Corporation

U.S. Rep. Dave Trott, 11th Congressional District

Rebecca M. Tungol, Philippine Cultural Center of Michigan

Howard Ungerleider, The Dow Chemical Company

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, 6th Congressional District

Jesse Venegas, The Ideal Group

Thomas Vincent, Plunkett Cooney

U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, 7th Congressional District

Carla Walker-Miller, Walker-Miller Energy Services LLC

Angela Wang Beasinger, Council of Asian Pacific Americans

S. Evan Weiner, Edw. C. Levy Co.

Lynnae White, Michigan Fire Inspectors Society

Jeff Wiggins, Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan

Jonathon C. Wildrom, Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors

President M. Roy Wilson, Wayne State University

Don Wotruba, Michigan Association of School Boards