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NFJC invites political leaders to explore civil discourse

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By Joyce Kryszak

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-950757.mp3

Buffalo, NY – The National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York is asking two local political leaders to help improve civil discourse.

The NFJC wants to make sure local politicians are not adding to the heated rhetoric that has recently dominated national politics. So, their board has invited the two men responsible for setting the tone locally for their parties.

Erie County Republican Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy and Erie County Democratic Committee chairman Len Lenihan will be guests at the NFJC's monthly board meeting tomorrow. NFJC president Lana Benatovich said it will be a timely discussion.

"We all know this year has been a very problematic year for that," said Benatovich.

Benatovich said each political leader will be given five minutes to present their comments to the board, with time to respond to one another. The presentations will be followed by questions from the NFJC board members. Benatovich said it will be a respectful and productive dialogue they hope could become a model for all political conversations.

"This is America, we have a wonderful, diverse community that addresses the interests and needs of all Americans who have different opinions on things. And that as it should be in a democracy," said Benatovich.

"But when we go off course and make it personal and have such divisions that we aren't doing the best for our people, that's when the NFJC becomes most concerned andf I think many... most Americans do," said Benatovich.

She said the goal is to end the meeting with an action plan and, if they agree, having the leaders sign a pledge to improve political discourse going forward.