Daily Resource Highlight - 05/09/2022
Posted by Bridge Alliance Education Fund on May 09, 2022 at 12:35 PM
Below are the highlights and featured resources of this past week’s Daily* Resource.
May 3, 2022 - Taking An All-Of-The-Above Approach to the Economy
Our economy is not working for millions of Americans. Regardless of the cause, Americans are hurting financially. And this pain is being inflamed by inflation, which is stretching tight household budgets even thinner (it’s also making America even more polarized as everybody tries to figure out who to blame).
We don’t believe there’s any “silver bullet” that will fix the economy, but there are a number of Bridge Alliance member organizations whose ideas could help move us in the right direction. For instance, Participatory Budgeting Project wants to take available funding and make local budgeting processes more democratic, and their 2021 Impact Report demonstrates their successes in doing so. This “Think Local” approach could also be helped by Congress’ reintroduction of earmarks (Divided We Fall), which can be used by Representatives and local leaders “to identify [and address] critical community needs.”
Other organizations are more focused on easing unintentional burdens caused by government intervention. In the McCourtney Institute’s Democracy Works podcast, Josh Mitchell discusses the “catastrophic” impact the government’s student loans program has had on families and America’s future, and how the new loan forgiveness program is difficult for borrowers to navigate.
The Hispanic Leadership Fund (HLF) is also alarmed by the costs of a college education, and believes the SEC’s new rules targeting hedge funds and other investment groups will worsen the problem. As HLF puts it, “University endowments, nonprofits, and pension plans entrust trillions of dollars to private funds.” By targeting these private funds, HLF says the SEC is unintentionally hurting everyday Americans, including “America’s proud Hispanic communities” and “aspiring first-generation college students.”
Will these solutions fix the economy? No, probably not. But could they be a significant step toward helping Americans feel more financially secure? Absolutely, and that alone makes them worthy of serious consideration.
May 5, 2020 - Plurality is the Default in America – It Isn’t the Only Option
Interactivity Foundation is hosting a Summer Collaborative Coaching program, and applications are due May 9th (just 4 days from now!), so make sure to fill out the form ASAP. This program got me thinking – if Americans had a collaborative discussion about how we vote and how those votes are counted, what would we decide is the best approach?
Plurality Voting is the most common approach in America (i.e. the most votes wins, period), but it’s far from the only option (discussing six different single-winner methods). And if you are already interested in electoral reform, you’ve most likely heard of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). According to a report by Voice of the People, a majority of Americans find arguments in favor of RCV convincing, though Republicans were split (49% in favor, 50% opposed) on the reform itself.
RCV is also popular among reformers in general. IVN has touted it as a tool against corruption, and RepresentUs advocates for it as part of the American Anti-Corruption Act. Additionally, FairVote argues that RCV can help close the racial turnout gap.
But as mentioned, RCV isn’t the only alternative to Plurality Voting. For instance, the Center for Election Science favors Approval Voting as a simple and user-friendly voting method. CES also sees AV as a solution to vote splitting, and touts its use in electing St. Louis’ first black woman to office (Mayor Tishaura Jones).
Perhaps, though, you still believe Plurality Voting is the best. If so, that’s fine! Or maybe you think RCV or AV are part of the solution, but more is needed. Like maybe primary reform or multi-winner districts (which FairVote promotes with RCV). That works, too!
The point is that there are options, and it’s important to know what those options are, including those beyond RCV and AV. So, how do you think America should choose its leaders? If the reform movement continues to gain momentum, the choice may soon be yours.
- AllSides (blog) May 4th: Elon Musk Buys Twitter: Victory for Free Speech or Online Harassment?
- American Values Coalition (blog) Apr 28th: How New Is the New Right?
- BillTrack50 (blog) Apr 20th: The MORE Act
- Braver Angels (course) Apr 29th: Managing Difficult Conversations with Constituents and Colleagues
- Business for America (report) May 2nd: Business Bridging Divides
- Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (blog) May 3rd: "A Sacred Trust" Would Weaken Social Security
- Congressional Management Foundation (blog) Apr 29th: Principle 7: While individual Members should prioritize engagement with their own constituents, Congress should develop additional venues for public policy participation and engagement.
- Divided We Fall (blog) Apr 27th: Would Term Limits for the House and Senate Encourage Bipartisanship?
- Divided We Fall (blog) May 4th: Is Bipartisanship Desirable?
- FairVote (blog) Apr 25th: Case study: Racial turnout gap in San Bernardino primary elections
- Hispanic Leadership Fund (report) May 3rd: Rewarding the Rich: Cross Subsidies from Interchange Fees
- Independent Voter Network (blog) Apr 20th: New Survey Shows Overwhelming Favorability for Ranked Choice Voting in Federal Elections
- Independent Voter Network (blog) May 3rd: June 7: Independent’s Day in California?
- Interactivity Foundation (blog) Apr 21st: Just Imagine…Social Entrepreneurship
- Interactivity Foundation (form) due May 9th: Become an IF Collaborative Discussion Coach (Summer Training 2022)
- Listen First Project (video) Apr 28th: #ListenFirst Friday America Talks Testimonials
- National Civic League (newsletter) Apr 29th: It’s Not Enough. But It’s Something.
- Public Agenda (report) May 3rd: Teachers in the News
- RepresentUS (blog) Apr 28th: The Presidential Debates Are in Danger, Which is Bad for Americans
- R Street Institute (blog) Apr 28th: Three Takeaways from Beyond the Basics: The Many Pillars of a U.S. Privacy Law
- Renew Democracy Initiative (blog) Apr 28th: The Foreign Roots of the Gay Panic
- R Street Institute (report) Apr 27th: Opinions on Judicial Reform: A Review of the 2021 Supreme Court Commission
- R Street Institute (blog) Apr 25th: Can private market data help balance national security and privacy?
- The Flip Side (newsletter) May 3rd: Disinformation Board
- The Flip Side (newsletter) May 3rd: Supreme Court Leak
- Voice of the People (report) Apr 29th: Americans on Ranked Choice Voting in Federal Elections