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77th Arizona Town Hall
Values, Ethics and Personal Responsibility
Oct. 29 - Nov. 1, 2000

When convening this Town Hall, the prevailing perception was that Arizona was faced with a substantial, sometimes dramatic, decline in values, ethics and personal responsibility. Against this backdrop of perceived decline, along with the challenge of reaching a consensus on how to improve our values, ethics and personal responsibility, 163 community leaders from around the state gathered at the Grand Canyon from October 29 to November 1,2000. Town Hall members identified a definite shift in ethics and morals; while improvements were found to have occurred in some areas, declines were evident in others. Areas of improvement were perceived at a social and institutional level, but Town Hall participants observed a serious decline in personal responsibility and accountability. They found an increase of selfishness to be evident, along with a general trend of financial gain becoming more important than moral values. Following are just a few of the recommendations from the 77th Town Hall, highlighting the fields of government, education, the media and business and also outlining the personal responsibility statement that was adopted at the conclusion of the Town Hall.

  • Town Hall calls on all government officials at all levels to be held to the highest ethical and moral standards….When necessary, citizens should not hesitate to pursue and utilize available mechanisms for removing unethical public officials from office.
  • The legislative process should undergo a thorough review to identify and eliminate all aspects of the process that serve to create a perception that the legislature acts without sufficient public notice or oversight.
  • Character, ethics and moral education should be integrated into existing core academic class study and not as separate formal courses. Emphasis should be given to six core tenets of ethical conduct: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.
  • The media and the entertainment industries should be discouraged from depicting actions without realistic consequences. Families must "pull the plug" on inappropriate entertainment products by refusing to consume them.
  • Although consumers and employees should bear in mind that businesses must be profitable to survive, corporations should place a strong emphasis on high ethical concerns in the pursuit of profit.

Personal Responsibility Statement

Society needs a greater emphasis on positive values and ethics. Too often, people are reluctant to take a stand, opting instead to wait for others to provide ethical leadership. I recognize that I must take a stand, that I should not "pass the buck," and that I have a personal obligation to provide ethical leadership to others.

Accordingly, I state the following:

  1. I endeavor to embody trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and good citizenship and to apply these ethical principles.
  2. I share these ethical principles with others.
  3. I work for the common good by asking whether my personal decisions will be best for our diverse society.

In summary, personal responsibility starts with me.

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