Legislators Discuss Mediation
By Mike Maday
Mary Zinn, member of theMac and leader of Conflict Resolution Month and I participated in the Collaboration Summit with leaders of the Colorado Legislature and Governor Hickenlooper last Thursday at the Capitol. The summit was organized by Senator Linda Newell and led by Stewart Levine, keynote for the ODR Conference. Everyone participating thanked theMAC for providing lunch. I was able to talk about theMAC to participants and handed out theMAC brochures. My presentation stressed the qualifications of our professional members and the distribution of members throughout the state. I highlighted the Find-A-Mediator tool on our website as a resource that members of the legislature would find helpful in locating mediators in their communities who could help address issues raised by constituents. When I gave the brochure to the Governor he mentioned that he was very aware of our organization. At one point in the session I also made the point that the cost of conflict within programs funded by the $18.5 billion state budget must form a significant portion of the budget shortfall and gave examples of how mediation results in significant cost avoidance for state programs such as the Judicial Branch.