If you are distraught about the downward spiral you feel Rockford is in, mark January 31, 2017 on your calendar now to join the "815 Choose Civility" movement. 

Time for me to make a confession. I dread reading or watching the news every day because there is so much ugliness going on in Rockford. It saddens, disgusts and angers me to no end to read about shootings happening pretty much on a daily basis. I'm so tired of hearing about fellow Rockfordians getting rob and victimized, and just all the straight up ugly behavior happening in our city. I have never, ever thought about moving out of Rockford, but now I often find myself feeling guilty about being a bad parent for never truly considering it. Will my children be able to grow up safe and happy here? Will they be able to stay removed from all the "bad" in Rockford? These worries are constantly on my mind, AND I AM SICK OF IT.

Recently I discovered a movement some Rockford residents have started called "815 Choose Civility". They believe kindness goes a long way, and I couldn't agree more. It may seem like such a simple premise, but kindness movements have been proven to work in other cities, so why not give it a shot?

The "815 Choose Civility" initiative will be holding a kick off event on January 31, 2017 at Heartland Community Church at 1280 S Alpine Road from 6 to 7:30 p.m. They are inviting all Rockford residents to come learn more about the movement, and to take this pledge listed on their Facebook page:

I pledge to conduct myself in a way that is honest, respectful, considerate and kind, even toward those with whom I disagree.

Perhaps if we all take the time to promote and embody positiveness things will start to turn around in Rockford. I will pray daily that it does.