Governor’s Weekly Message Transcript: Finding Common Ground on Jobs, Schools and Curbing Costs

Education, energy, health care and jobs. When it comes to high profile public policies, there’s enormous amount for some pretty substantial fights on those and other issues.

And as time goes on, it feels like those fights are getting more heated, more personal and – at the same time – less productive. When a fight’s focus is on the person you’re fighting against – instead of the problem you’re fighting to solve – something critical gets lost. When you’re working against some-body instead of working towards some-thing meaningful – the work can lose its purpose. Yet so much of what passes for policy debates can look just like that – picking fights, antagonizing opponents and rallying supporters simply to keep the fight alive.

Governors around the country came together in Washington last week to try to make a very un-Washington argument that the point of a jobs policy is to fight unemployment, not to fight people who’d implement it differently. That the point of education policy is to make sure our kids graduate ready to fight and win the future, not to pit people involved in the current system against each other. That the point of health care policy is fight against the catastrophic costs that come when coverage isn’t accessible or reliable.

Now– it was by no means a perfect meeting. At the edges of most common ground, there’s almost always disputed territory. But by the time the members of the National Governors Association had finished their deliberations, Governors representing different ideologies and geographies, some early in their terms and others in their last few months until retirement, unanimously endorsed a series of proposals on jobs, schools, energy, and health care costs.

These are problems we need to keep tackling together – instead of tackling each other – in an effort to keep Delaware, and the nation, moving forward.