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Dennis Ross Heads Home

Public Service

Civics, civility, process, leadership — all will coalesce as Dennis Ross assumes his role as a teacher at Southeastern University, which is creating a center for civic engagement. The university offers a bachelor’s degree in political science and is considering offering a master’s degree.

“They want to start a conservative think-tank and leadership program,” Ross says. “We will do one-day leadership seminars that will instill a sense of responsibility and motivation to get involved in the process in a positive fashion. It’s not only an opportunity to teach the next generation, but to teach existing leaders how to reach across the aisle, to compromise.

Ross says he advocates for less government; others have different views. “But we can resolve that and hopefully agree that we don’t want bad government. The pendulum is going to swing, and right now we are polarizing ourselves for every issue being the be-all, end-all.”

He’s looking forward to working with former state Senator Rick Dantzler, a Democrat. “We want to do some bipartisan issue advocacy. He gets it, too. This process of cooperation is lacking.”

Ross reflects on his childhood as an example of how tolerant people can be. “My mom was a lifelong Democrat and Dad a lifelong Republican. We joked that their votes would cancel each other out, but we never argued over the dinner table. The differences didn’t divide the family. It intrigued our family.”

Ross also plans to return to the practice of law. And the answer to the question everyone is asking? “I’m never going to say no to elected office again.” 

Read the full feature “Heading Home” by Lenore Devore in issue 46 or on thelakelander.com.

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