Wednesday, June 08, 2005

More Positive Centrist Action

I really like when I can blog about things that don't make me nauseous (hence why I have thus far avoided comment on the latest Howard Dean screed). So this story from the Madison State Journal really made my day. Four thousand representatives from business groups, labor unions, nonprofit organizations, and political organizations in Madison, Wisconsin have joined together to form the Common Sense Coalition, which "aims to become a public policy group that seeks centrist solutions to Dane County problems while fostering economic development, public safety and education."

The Coalition's acting chairman, Peter Munoz, called the effort "a model for the rest of the nation to emulate." The idea for the coalition "sprang out of a research project commissioned by a client of Putnam Roby Communications. Roger Putnam, a former television journalist who heads the firm with Tim Roby, communications director for former Gov. Scott McCallum." Putnam: "I think this coalition is something of a manifestation of the way we approach our business. Tim is an unapologetic Republican and I'm a kind and gentle Democrat. And we both believe that the answer is somewhere perhaps in the middle."

Madison police union president Scott Favour, a member of the Coalition, said its founders "saw the folks on either end not really communicating with one another and not getting a lot done without a lot of acrimony, a lot of argument."

Like Seattle mayor Greg Nickels' efforts on climate change, I hope this model will prove addictive to cities and states across the country. Centrism from the ground up has the best chance of succeeding and bringing real reforms, and it's great to see Madison's leaders stepping up to the plate.

Some more great Centrist links from the past couple days: The Yellow Line has an excellent "Centrist Q & A". Jack at Random Fate offers a clear and concise answer to that age-old question "What Is A Moderate?"