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Civic unrest

The tragedy in Tucson, AZ serves as a stark reminder that our nation needs to be knit back together.

All too often, partisan politicians attack individuals rather than ideas; some in the media reward those who divide us rather than unite us; and even religious leaders on occasion offer anger over mercy and grace.

Yet we live in a valley where wonderful role models survive and thrive.

My friend and mentor, Tom Campbell reminds us we can disagree without being disagreeable, that we can use “soft words but hard arguments.”

Jim Cunneen, former state assemblyman and former CEO of the Chamber of Commerce is a living example of effective service. As Chamber CEO, he strengthened an institution with numerous policy and political successes, always respecting, rather than reviling, those with different points of view.

At the Mercury News, thoughtful columnists like Mike Cassidy and Gary Richards have strong opinions, but their words build bridges, rather than burn them down.

CEO’s like Aart de Geus and Mike Splinter balance global business acumen with local civic engagement.

Let’s model those who lift others up, rather than reward those who tear others down.

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