AUGUSTA — The University of Maine at Augusta Arts and Science and UMA Senior College will resent a Forum on the Future titled Our Political Discourse — Can We Be More Civil? from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30, in Jewett Hall on the university campus at 46 University Drive.

The speakers will address the current status of political dialogue in Maine, and will describe what has brought the state Legislature, as well as the general public to the state of divisiveness, vituperative exchanges, and difficulty in finding common ground. Speakers have been asked to address the influence of social media upon the situation; and also to discuss what might be done to make the dialogue more respectful, and how we might disagree agreeably. There will be ample opportunity for questions and interaction between the audience and the panel.

Speakers will include Sen. Roger Katz, Douglas Rooks and Mark Hews.

Katz, who represents the 15th district of Augusta and surrounding towns. A former Minority Leader, he is currently in his fourth term in the Senate and is chairman of the Government Oversight Committee.

Rooks is the former editor and publisher of the Maine Times and Kennebec Journal. He is the author of “Statesman: George Mitchell and the Art of the Possible” and “Rise, Decline and Renewal: The Democratic Party in Maine. He is a local columnist for the Kennebec Journal and the Morning Sentinel.

Hews is the Maine State Coordinator of the Maine Revives Civility Initiative which coordinates with the National Institute of Civil Discourse. It promotes resources to overcome degradation of our public dialogue. His cross-sector consulting firm specializes in resource enterprises and rural sustainability.

The program will be moderated by Marilyn Canavan, former Waterville representative to the State Legislature and former chairwoman of the Maine Government Ethics Committee.

All forums are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

UMASC is open to all who are 50 years or older, their partners or spouses. For more information, contact 621-3551 or [email protected].

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