The City of Canton has been designated as a City of Civility by the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA). The City adopted a civility resolution in GMA’s new Embrace Civility program during the Feb. 2, 2023, Council Meeting; Canton is the third city in Georgia to make this commitment.
A 2019 poll by Weber Shandwick revealed that over 90% percent of Americans believe that incivility is a problem, with nearly 68% percent identifying it as a major problem. Civility is more than just politeness; it is about disagreeing without disrespect, seeking common ground as a starting point for dialogue about differences, listening past one’s preconceptions and teaching others to do the same.
"Consistent with our Roadmap for Success tenet of Leading with Excellence, I am extremely proud Canton was one of the first cities in Georgia to adopt a resolution to become a City of Civility,” said Mayor Bill Grant. “As we continue to build upon our successes, we must always remember that all people in our community have the right to be treated with respect, courtesy, and openness – especially when we disagree. In a world increasingly defined by divisive rhetoric, civility is essential in our journey to becoming a kinder and stronger community."
GMA, in partnership with the Association’s nonprofit organization, Georgia City Solutions, created the Embrace Civility program to equip Georgia’s cities with resources to create more civility in their meetings and among their residents and meeting attendees. Civil behavior and speech are critically important to a healthy, functional, and respectful society. For public service to be effective, there must be an atmosphere of respect and tolerance and a commitment to a healthy public exchange of diverse ideas and viewpoints.
“I commend the City of Canton for embracing civility and adopting the resolution to become a GMA City of Civility,” said GMA CEO and Executive Director Larry Hanson. “We believe that Georgia’s cities have a great platform to model open, free, and vigorous debate, while maintaining the highest standards of civility, honesty, and mutual respect.”
To become a City of Civility, city councils are required to adopt a Civility Resolution and pledge to engage in civil behavior with each other as well as with residents and meeting attendees. Cities also have a civility pledge that can be published or recited at meetings. Learn more about the Embrace Civility program at www.gacities.com/civility.