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  • Meagan Dorsch
    Director of Public Affairs
  • Jon Kuhl
    Public Affairs Specialist
    Washington, D.C.
May 11, 2011

NCSL Executive Committee passes Civility Accord

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is pleased to announce the passage of the NCSL Civility Accord. The Accord was unanimously passed in Boston, Massachusetts at the NCSL spring Executive Committee Meeting. In the Accord, legislators and legislative staff pledge their commitment to a set of civility principles designed to foster bipartisanship. As the premiere organization of state legislators and legislative staff, NCSL is proud to help lead the way on this important topic.

NCSL President, Massachusetts State Senator Richard Moore, explained that the NCSL Civility Accord is modeled on one adopted in January by the United States Conference of Mayors following the shooting in Tucson of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a former state legislator.

"I hope that every one of my state legislative colleagues will embrace this in their states," Moore stated.

NCSL Civility Accord

As a member of the National Conference of State Legislatures, we, as state legislators and legislative staff, in order to embrace civility and bipartisanship in our states and through them our nation, pledge our commitment to the following principles for civility:

  • Respect the right of all Americans to hold different opinions.
  • Avoid rhetoric intended to humiliate, de-legitimatize or question the patriotism of those whose opinions are different from ours.
  • Strive to understand differing perspective.;
  • Choose words carefully;
  • Speak truthfully without accusation, and avoid distortion.
  • Speak out against violence, prejudice and incivility in all their forms, whenever and wherever they occur.

We further pledge to exhibit and encourage the kind of personal qualities that are emblematic of a civil society: gratitude, humility, openness, passion for service to others, propriety, kindness, caring, faith, sense of duty and a commitment to doing what is right.


NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.