Presented by The Bridge Alliance Education Fund.

The views expressed in blog posts are strictly those of the author and do not represent the views of the Bridge Alliance or its affiliates.

The Flag’s History: A Model of Collaboration and Process

Posted by Caroline Klibanoff on June 14, 2018

By Caroline Klibanoff, Bridge Alliance and Big Tent Nation

Today is Flag Day, a holiday which celebrates the day we adopted the stars and stripes as our national flag. On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress resolved to represent the nascent union with a flag of thirteen stripes and thirteen stars, sewn by Betsy Ross.

While our flag has changed in design over the years – we’ve waved 27 different versions since that first resolution – as a country, we have held tight to the story that Ross, a Colonial-era flagmaker, singlehandedly crafted the Old Glory in all its, well, glory.

But the truth is a little more complicated – and a little more reflective of the iterative process and “many-hands” approach that is core to American life.

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Posted by Matt Leighninger on June 08, 2018

By Matt Leighninger, Public Agenda. Reposted from

How can public engagement evolve in order to meet the challenges and conditions of 2017? In my first post of this multi-blog series, I shared a list of promising directions for innovation in the field. Now, in Part 2 of the series, we'll explore in more detail the first item on that list: making engagement more social and versatile, so that it is more common, convenient and fun.

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Civility,Trust & Legislative Leadership

Posted by Stephen Lakis on June 02, 2018

By Stephen Lakis, SLLF. Reposted from

Just last year SLLF signed up with Bridge Alliance, a new organization whose stated goal is to restore civility to our national discourse. We believe the Bridge Alliance is onto something, not just because they speak truth when they point out how damaging the current lack of civility is to the health of our democracy, but more because they are trying to do something about it. We’ve put our oar in the water, joined the BA family, and together with other like-minded organizations, we’re working to restore a measure of civility to the legislative discourse. The job is not easy.

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Get to Know a Legislator: Rep. Abdullah Hammoud

Posted by Jeremy Garson on May 31, 2018

By Jeremy Garson, Bridge Alliance. Reposted from

In this month’s Legislator of the Month feature, MAP sits down with Michigan Future Caucus Co-Chair Representative Abdullah Hammoud (D-District 15). Rep. Hammoud shares what motivated him to run for office, the power of bridge building, and why he decided to join the State Future Caucus Network.

Rep. Hammoud was motivated to run for office after his brother Ali passed away. “Ali was the type of individual that made you feel as if the stars were within arm’s reach, all you had to do was be bold enough to grab them. He was an individual that believed in pursuing your passions, staying true to your identity, and, above all, treating everyone as if they were family.”

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Posted by Matt Leighninger on May 18, 2018

By Matt Leighninger, Public Agenda. Reposted from

On all kinds of issues, people want more choices, more information and more of a say. Whether the topic is how schools should work, what should be in the local budget or what Congress should do about health care, citizens want their voices to be heard. “We are in the midst of a profound global Great Push Back against concentrated, monopolized, hoarded power,” writes Eric Liu.

When they’re given productive, well-structured ways to participate, citizens have a lot to contribute: they can not only provide reasonable input and interesting ideas to public officials and staff, they can also devote their own time, energy and skills to solving public problems.

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The Hidden Agreement Within America's Political Chasm

Posted by Erik Fogg on May 11, 2018

By Erik Fogg, Reconsider Media. Reposted from

Here at ReConsider we like to harp on the idea that behind the mass of negativity and hyperpartisanship that dominates American politics, there are mostly shared values. Nat talks a bit about the disparity in this video.

In Wedged we demonstrated this agreement in case studies. We showed that on even divisive issues such as guns, abortion, and taxes, most people will agree on core values most of the time. We posited that this agreement on values probably extended to other issues.

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Don’t Settle for “Fake Belonging” — In Society or Politics

Posted by Debilyn Molineaux on May 04, 2018

By Debilyn Molineaux, Bridge Alliance. Reposted from

We human beings have an intense — an inherent — need to belong to a group. In our “cave days,” it was important for the survival of our species to be connected and work together.

As we’ve evolved, physically, emotionally and societally, belonging has been equally important to our survival. Our community provides acceptance, support, and values.

It’s the “something bigger than ourselves” that provides meaning to our lives.

Belonging and connection means having a sense of purpose, which allows for happiness. We are meant to be in groups. No one is an island. No. One. We are wired for community.

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Getting Money Out Of Politics - Together

Posted by American Promise on April 27, 2018

AmericanPromiseLogo.jpgBy Azor Cole, American Promise.

What does former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe, a Republican from Maine, have in common with former State Senator and current President of Our Revolution, Nina Turner? They both support a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution so people, not money, govern America. The 28th Amendment would replace the Supreme Court’s doctrine of political inequality, reflected in decisions such as Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and Buckley v. Valeo, with foundational American principles of equal citizenship and representation, as well as safeguards against systemic corruption.

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Survey: Six in Ten Oppose Spending $25 Billion for Wall, But Half Favor Some New Spending

Posted by Voice Of the People on April 15, 2018

By Voice of the People. Reposted from

Overwhelming Bipartisan Majority Favors Path to Citizenship for Dreamers

Majorities Oppose Eliminating Family and Lottery Based Immigration Programs, But 6 in 10 Favor Cutting Them Back

Washington DC:  As Congress gears up to make another run at addressing immigration, a new in-depth survey of registered voters presented the major proposals under consideration and found that:

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Saving The Republic: Business Leaders Need To Step It Up

Posted by David Nevins on April 01, 2018

I am a businessman who never did anything in politics until about 7 years ago. However, I believe with the uncharted waters of the political environment now roiling daily, business people like myself must step up to the plate to revitalize our democracy.

We must require a higher standard from our elected officials. A new paradigm of politics — one based on civil political discourse, critical thinking, and personal accountability — can and should be demanded by the electorate of its leadership, and the time to do so is now.

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