- Associated Press - Thursday, July 16, 2015

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) - A campaign is afoot in Mingo County to make nice.

The Campaign for Civility is the work of Teresa McCune, a longtime public defender who has had a front-row seat at meetings that have turned contentious.

A native West Virginian, the 63-year-old McCune said she simply intends to spread around some civility.

“I was absolutely taken with the people here,” McCune told the Charleston Daily Mail (http://bit.ly/1DhM31S).”The wonderful, good, warm, hard-working people. Those people deserve to be heard, they deserve to be represented in a positive way, and I’m so tired of the negativity in and about Mingo County. I just want to spread a positive message.”

McCune said she wants to foster behaviors “founded upon the fundamental dignity and worth of all our community members and to creating a climate that is characterized by respect for each other.”

“We had had some recent public meetings in our town where things got pretty uncivil,” McCune said. “As you know, we’d had some pretty bad problems with lack of civility in Mingo County going back a couple of years, which led to a lot of other, much worse problems. I just started thinking about a way I could encourage people to express themselves but be nice and be positive in the process.”

Her campaign is based upon something she always heard her mother say. That is: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

McCune had 12 T-shirts made with the saying. They were grabbed up at a June meeting of the Williamson City Council.

Her main message to fellow Mingo County residents is simple. Be nice to each other.

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Information from: Charleston Daily Mail, http://www.charlestondailymail.com

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