Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is beginning a tour of the state to hold conversations with Kentuckians about the state of the commonwealth’s civic health. The series of stops, which will be in every part of Kentucky, started Thursday at the University of Louisville.
“At the beginning of the year, my office released the second installment of Kentucky’s Civic Health Index, which revealed some alarming figures about the trust Kentuckians place in public institutions,” said Grimes. “We know that the more engaged people are, the more faith they are likely to have in important institutions such as media and government – and even in the people around them, like neighbors.”
The Index showed the commonwealth improved in national rankings in social connectedness, community engagement and voter registration since Grimes released the first report in 2012. But, it also showed that fewer than half of Kentuckians have confidence in media, a decline of more than 10 percent in three years, and fewer Kentuckians are trusting of their neighbors. Overall, Kentucky ranks 48th in the nation, ahead of only New Mexico (49th), Montana (50th) and Utah (51st), for public confidence in media.
Grimes has called on Kentucky’s elected officials – including legislators and constitutional officers – to help start down the road of restoring trust by signing a pledge to not share fake information and to call out inaccurate news and information to constituents. The Restore Trust in Kentucky pledge has already been signed by many officials, and Grimes is encouraging other Kentuckians to sign on at sos.ky.gov.
“Kentucky is at its best when everyone is engaged,” said Grimes. “This latest Index confirmed our work is not complete when it comes to improving the commonwealth’s civic health, and we are rededicating ourselves – with many partners – to formulating fresh strategies to help bridge participation and engagement gaps.”
The next stop on Grimes’ civic health tour is next week at Western Kentucky University, a partner in the release of the Civic Health Index. The roundtable discussion will be held Feb. 1, 3:30 p.m. CT, at the Faculty House.
The full Civic Health Index and related information is available at sos.ky.gov.