A question arose this election season, as it does periodically: How well do U.S. citizens and candidates for public office understand and value the contents of the Constitution of the United States?
For the past 11 years, the University of Washington Libraries staff has invited the public to participate in “UW Reads the Constitution.” The nonpartisan event reminds all of us to consider thoughtfully a document regarded around the world as a model of cooperative statesmanship.
Organizer Cassandra Hartnett, UW’s government publications librarian, says this about the gathering: “Not every passage of the Constitution is as fascinating as, say, the Preamble or the Second Amendment, but it is the range of voices that makes such an impression on me.
"The different individuals evoke the collective minds who worked to draft, sign and amend the document. And we are the ones who can amend it in the future.”
We’re presenting our recording of this year’s event. The public reading took place at UW’s Suzzallo Library on October 7.