Washington, D.C. - National leaders gathered together in Washington, D.C. this week to discuss the growing problem of citizens’ disconnect with civics and the democratic process. Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, who recently hosted a state-wide summit on civic literacy, addressed the general assembly at the 2nd Annual Congressional Conference on Civic Education, encouraging attendees to take action.
“Our country and state face a growing problem,” stated Secretary Grayson. “Citizens, especially our youth, no longer know many of the basic tenets of our government. We must find the root of the problem and take immediate action to solve this looming crisis.”
Attendees at the conference were buoyed by the recent election’s voter turnout where most states saw increased voter turnout. More Kentuckians voted in the November general election than any other election in Kentucky history.
Secretary Grayson remarked, “While we witnessed significant voter turnout in November, initial reports indicate that nationally, fewer than 20 percent of eligible voters between the ages of 18-25 cast their ballots in the election. We have a long way to go.”
Grayson joined Senator Jack Westwood, Representative Tanya Pullin, and representatives from the Kentucky Department of Education and the Administrative Office of the Courts as the Kentucky delegation to the conference. This same delegation joined with others to comprise the Kentucky Workgroup on Civic Literacy which hosted the 1st Annual Kentucky Summit on Civic Literacy this past October.
The Civics Summit represents the beginning of a multi-year effort that will determine a strategy for enhancing long-term civic engagement and civic literacy within the Commonwealth and will recommend a plan for improving civic engagement and literacy. A report from the Summit will be presented to the Legislature in the upcoming weeks.
The Summit and the delegation received accolades at the conference. Members of the delegation served as presenters while facilitators held the Kentucky Summit as an example for other states to emulate. Kentucky falls among the first states to conduct a summit and study of civic literacy.
“Kentucky has a great start in our efforts to improve civic literacy and engagement within the Commonwealth. Much work remains, and the Kentucky Workgroup on Civic Literacy will work diligently over the next couple years to make significant improvements in our efforts,” said Grayson.
For more information on the Kentucky Summit on Civic Literacy please visit http://civicsky.nku.edu and for more information on the Second Annual Congressional Conference on Civic Education visit http://www.representativedemocracy.org.
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