Project for Civic Health

About the Project for Civic Health

Almost daily, we see the challenges from the breakdown in civic dialogue — in the news, in community meetings, in national politics. Yet at the same time, people are also acting to counter divisiveness, develop community solutions to shared challenges, and improve dialogue across differences.  

Concerned by the increasingly common dysfunction in governance at state legislatures around the country, Denny Heck, Lieutenant Governor of Washington State, reached out to leaders at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, University of Washington, and Washington State University. Together, we realized civic health demanded our collective attention. The Project for Civic Health was born. 

The Office of the Lt. Governor began by convening roundtables in five Washington counties with elected officials and community leaders. Small groups gathered to talk more about the state of civic health, and, in the course of doing so, reminded each other of how much we have in common. The roundtable conversations have been distilled into a report, Common Ground for the Common Good, which formed the basis of the Summit.

On October 19, 2023, the partners held a Civic Health Summit, where community and political leaders from across Washington engaged in discussions sparked by the Common Ground report. These discussions have led to recommendations for sustained action to improve our civic health in the State of Washington.


Project for Civic Health Partners

State of Washington Lieutenant Governor
UW Evans School
Henry M. Jackson Foundation
The William D. Ruckelshaus Center