Presented by The Bridge Alliance Education Fund.

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Conflicts in Space

Posted by Project On Government Oversight on December 03, 2019

By Emily Sorkin Smith & Mandy Smithberger. Reposted from

One of the issues that will be decided in this year’s annual defense policy bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act, will be whether Congress approves the president’s request to create a Space Force. An analysis by the Project On Government Oversight shows that, as is often the case, the people lobbying Congress to support its creation aren’t being transparent about their own financial interests.

Forty-two former defense and intelligence officials signed an open letter this year expressing their “strong support” for the Space Force as a necessary and vital part of the overall national security infrastructure. The open letter, published in May 2019, does not disclose the actual and potential financial ties nearly all of the signatories have to companies that may profit from increased federal spending in the defense and space sectors.

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"Angry Uncle Bot" Helps You Prep for Thanksgiving Political Talk

Posted by on November 26, 2019

Reposted from

You may have already prepared yourself for any potentially uncomfortable holiday conversations by reading our 5 tips for handling political conversations at Thanksgiving dinner, but what if you could practice beforehand?

Our conversation tips for bridging divides include asking to listen, not to respondexhibiting genuine curiosity toward another person's views, and noting points of agreement. So we were delighted to find the Angry Uncle Bot, a project by Smart Politics, which allows you to hold a conversation with your political opposite and gives you feedback on your responses — showing you whether they'll be a productive step toward mutual understanding, or only inflame tensions.

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Let’s Talk About Politics On Facebook! An Exercise in Applying Better Angels Skills Online

Posted by Braver Angels on November 19, 2019

By Randy Lioz. Reposted from

As a Better Angels moderator, I’ve had the pleasure of running several Skills Workshops, which focus on helping people to navigate conversations with those who have very different beliefs from their own. At the top of the agenda we give people some guidance about how they should approach using these skills, like jettisoning the expectation that they’ll be able to change the other person’s mind, and remembering that saving face is a basic need that everyone has when confronted with their inevitable ideological inconsistencies.

Among those guidelines is a note that these skills are “not intended for use online!” The exclamation point is, in fact, right there in the moderator’s guide, and it indicates how fraught we believe the prospect of conducting a civil exchange is in the worlds of Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and the darker corners of the web. It can be tougher to control the tone of the conversation when anyone can join in at any time, and in an environment where people seem more willing to say outrageous things that they would avoid when speaking face-to-face.

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How to give MORE money to the causes you love

Posted by Kirsten Elliott on November 12, 2019

Reposted from

Like many people, the end-of-year holiday season is one of my favorites times of the year. I relish spending quality time with my loved ones, decorating my house, and feasting on fun foods I only make at this time of year. 

But as a professional fundraiser, this time of year is extra special for me. That’s because this is when so many of you choose to make gifts to improve the communities you live in. And not just to The Center for Election Science, but to a whole host of worthy causes.

It makes my heart swell to see your generosity. It’s why I got into this profession in the first place, and it’s what drives me to provide the best experience I can for you all year long.

And this year, that got me thinking. As a fundraiser, I know a lot about donations and how you can donate in the most effective way possible. So, to kick off the year-end giving season, I wanted to give a little something to you: some easy advice on how to give most effectively this holiday season.

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Five myths about online content moderation, from a former content moderator

Posted by R Street Institute on November 05, 2019

By Daisy Soderberg-Rivkin. Reposted from

The internet has altered every aspect of our lives. It has helped us launch political campaigns, begin romantic relationships, discover faraway places, document human rights abuses, and ensure that those subject to disasters are safe and have access to the resources they need. Much like any other great innovation, however, it also has its dark side.

Indeed, the internet has become a breeding ground for terrorists, a marketplace for human trafficking, a platform for child sexual exploitation, and a stage for hate speech and violence. To combat the presence of such terrible things, the job of content moderator was born.

Content moderators review and analyze user reports of abusive content found on platforms and decide, based on a predetermined set of rules and guidelines as well as the law, whether the content should stay up or come down.

The debates stirring in Congress and society relating to the role of content moderators have fueled many a baseless claim. Here are five of the most repeated myths.

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Voters and Vice Presidents: How the University of Delaware Made It Count with TurboVote

Posted by Bridge Alliance Education Fund on October 29, 2019

By Democracy Works. Reposted from Democracy.Works

Disclaimer: The Bridge Alliance Education Fund DOES NOT endorse former Vice President Joe Biden's presidential campaign or any other politician's campaign. The purpose of this article is to highlight the work of Bridge Alliance member Democracy Works and its partnership with the University of Delaware.

On a Tuesday in late September of 2018, hundreds of students crowded into the University of Delaware’s (UD) student union. Some of them may have just been there to grab a quick bite, but others had heard through social media about a special event in honor of National Voter Registration Day (NVRD). Either way, they were in for a treat, and not just from the student union’s snack counter.

Around 11 a.m., the guest of honor arrived: UD alumnus and former Vice President, Joe Biden. After being greeted with enthusiastic applause and a quick round of selfies, he addressed the crowd about the importance of democratic participation, regardless of political orientation.

“I don’t give a damn how you vote,” he said. “Just vote.”

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Young people aren’t the problem with civic participation. We’re the solution.

Posted by Cities of Service on October 15, 2019

By Brooke Wells (a former Cities of Service AmeriCorps VISTA member). Reposted from The Fulcrum.

Wells is an Ohio State University graduate who recently completed her time as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Hamilton, Ohio. She is now a city employee.

Recent research paints a bleak picture of young people's participation in civil service.

Just 7 percent of federal government employees are younger than 30 — even though, according to some estimates, millennials will soon make up three-quarters of the country's workforce. The statistics go on: The median age of government employees is three years higher than that of the United States as a whole. More federal tech workers are over 60 than under 35. A growing number of universities report that their public administration students are choosing private-sector jobs.

And beneath all the data is a pervasive sense that trust in public officials is at an all-time low. According to the Pew Research Center, less than 20 percent of millennials trust the government "always or most of the time." Millennials also feel less connected to any one political party: 44 percent of millennials say they are independents, compared to 39 percent of Generation X and 32 percent of baby boomers.

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Here’s Your Reminder That Immigrants Really Do Improve Our Lives

Posted by Free the People on October 08, 2019

By Trace Mitchell. Reposted from

Immigration is looking to play a crucial role in the 2020 election. Donald Trump ran and won the presidency on a platform of increased border security, tighter restrictions on immigration, and the building of a physical wall along the southern border. On the other side of the aisle, repealing section 1325 of the U.S. Code—the portion that makes it a criminal offense to enter the country through improper channels—was a primary issue during the first Democratic debate.

No matter your views on American immigration policy, we should all take time to appreciate the many ways in which immigrants make our lives better on a daily basis.

No, this isn’t an exhaustive list. But these are just below are a few examples of how immigrants drastically improve our great American experiment.

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Spaces For Chicago's Black Youth

Posted by Elliot Heilman on October 01, 2019

By Jenna Przybysz. Reposted from Illinois Humanities.

Where did spaces for Chicago’s Black youth go and why have they disappeared? Moreover, what defines these spaces and how have the current Black youth responded to this decline?

These were the guiding questions that fueled the capstone scholars’ research during their three week program. Working closely with members of Honey Pot Performance, guest instructors, librarians, musicians, and archivists, the Capstone scholars unraveled these questions by understanding the long lasting effects of the Great Migration, listening to and learning from different styles and genres of music, and using different methodological approaches, especially archival research.

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