Yarmuth and Comer Featured in Congressional Student Forum on Civility

The Henry Clay Center was proud to co-host a Congressional Student Forum in partnership with the Institute for Civility in Government and the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law on Thursday, February 20, 2020, featuring Chairman John Yarmuth (D-KY 3rd District) and Congressman James Comer (R-KY 1stDistrict).

Designed by the Institute for Civility in Government and moderator Cassandra Dahnke, the Congressional Student Forum is a closed-door, student-led forum that offers attendees, “a personal experience in the governing process that is grounded in civility, setting an important precedent for their future involvement in the civic process.” Students interact directly with the featured elected officials by asking questions about a range of topics. Each official is then given an opportunity for response and discussion, followed by a closing statement at the end of the Q&A period.

Congressmen Yarmuth and Comer fielded a number of questions from University of Louisville students, all of which centered on a particular theme – the political climate in Washington, D.C. Students were interested in the Congressmen’s personal experiences working with “the other side,” and what strategies they employ to further legislation. One student sought career insight, asking for advice on how to build a diverse political network, while another student wondered how newer, younger members of the House of Representatives have impacted working dynamics on both sides of the aisle.

Both Chairman Yarmuth and Congressman Comer engaged in robust conversation with attendees and with one another, putting the principles of civility, dialogue, and respect on display.

“We believe in the power and importance of promoting the skills of statesmanship – civility, cooperation, compromise,” said Clare Magee, Executive Director of the Henry Clay Center, at the beginning of the forum. “These skills must be practiced, and our hope is that through student questions and the interactions between Chairman Yarmuth and Congressman Comer, tonight will be an opportunity for such practice.”

The Congressional Student Forum was the first bipartisan speaker event to be hosted by the Henry Clay Center this year. Look for future discussions on criminal justice reform, energy and the environment, healthcare, and U.S.-China relations taking place this summer and fall.

Images courtesy of Tom Fougerousse, University of Louisville.