Secretary of State
Secretary Grimes Travels Across Kentucky to Improve Civic Health

Press Release Date:  Thursday, November 29, 2012  
Contact Information:  Lynn Sowards Zellen
Director of Communications
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes
(502) 330-9839

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes recently kicked off the inaugural Civic Health Initiative, a statewide series of roundtable discussions at Kentucky’s universities and colleges to improve Kentucky’s overall civic health.

“Earlier this year, my office released Kentucky’s first ever Civic Health Index, which unfortunately shows that civic engagement in Kentucky is generally declining,” said Grimes. “As the Commonwealth’s chief advocate for civic engagement, reversing that trend is a priority.”

Grimes began the tour on November 8th, partnering with Western Kentucky University for the Seventh Annual Kentucky Engagement Conference. In addition to addressing all attendees, Grimes led a breakout session in which she facilitated a discussion among academic administrators, faculty and staff regarding strategies for increasing engagement, including volunteerism and voting.

On November 13th, Grimes hosted a roundtable at Eastern Kentucky University. Leaders in education, business and the community, including EKU President Doug Whitlock, joined Grimes in the public forum to discuss strategies for moving Kentucky forward.

“Kentucky is at its best when everyone is engaged,” said Grimes. “The Civic Health Initiative is the first step toward establishing new partnerships and formulating fresh strategies that will bridge existing participation gaps.”

The next destination for Grimes’ Civic Health Initiative is November 30th at 10:30 EST at Kentucky State University’s Cooperative Extension Building, Room 238. The event, which will include Governor Julian Carroll, is open to the public.

Governor Carroll, who was first elected to state government 50 years ago, said, “It is encouraging to see fresh approaches to longstanding issues, and I am excited to see the impact Secretary Grimes’ initiative will have on the level of engagement among Kentuckians.” Dr. Joel Thierstein, KSU Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, welcomed the discussion and said, “Civic engagement will be one of the hallmarks of the 21st century. Educational institutions will find continued relevance in leading global civic engagement.”

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