Daily Resource Highlight - 05/23/2022
Posted by Bridge Alliance Education Fund on May 25, 2022 at 2:51 PM
Below are the highlights and featured resources of this past week’s Daily* Resource.
May 17, 2022 - Feeling Humbled by America’s Unique Diversity
We live in a very, very diverse nation. To call America a melting pot (or mixed salad!) doesn’t even do it justice, in my opinion, because our diversity extends far beyond our cultures. We have all types of climates, geographies, etc. Everything from “amber waves of grain” to “purple mountain majesties.”
This tremendous diversity humbles me. How can I, as a somebody who grew up in the Philadelphia Suburbs, possibly understand the needs of somebody living in downtown Dallas, TX or in tiny New Meadows, ID? That’s why I greatly appreciate the role organizations like Essential Partners play in helping us understand one another. Their new conversation guide on guns comes at a time when the topic is increasingly divisive, but important.
It also gives me a renewed sense of respect for Listen First Project, which brought together hundreds of organizations for a very successful America Talks. And for Braver Angels, which is working hard to bring together working class Americans from across the nation (if you’re a working class American, remember to sign up for We the People!).
Finally, our diversity makes me wonder about how states govern themselves. For instance, Bill Track 50 has a breakdown of how often states introduce and pass bills during regular sessions vs. special sessions. What’s the significance of those different approaches? Does it have any impact on what kinds of laws are passed?
When I really dig into the details, there is so much I don’t know about how our country works and how people live. Do you also feel overwhelmed by the incredible diversity of our country? Let me know. And if you don’t, how do you keep it all in perspective?
May 19, 2022 - The Need for a Good Civics Education
One of our main goals at the Bridge Alliance Education Fund is to inform you – the American people – about different possibilities for the future of our democratic republic. But this work comes with the assumption that you have a solid understanding of civics, which isn’t the case for all Americans.
That’s why Bridge Alliance organizations like iCivics, Student Governmental Affairs Program, Citizen University, and others are dedicated to helping Americans understand their place in our nation and fulfill their potential as citizens. It’s also why iCivics, ActiVote, Business for America, CivicsUnplugged, GenUnity, Renew Democracy Initiative, Youth Leadership Initiative, and many, many more – including a bipartisan group of Congressional legislators – are pushing hard for passage of the Civics Secures Democracy (CSD) Act.
The CSD Act would provide support to states, nonprofits, colleges, researchers, fellowship programs, and more to expand and improve civics education in America. If you would like to support passage of the CSD, click here to find out how you can help.
We as a nation have important questions to consider in the coming years. For instance:
- Should the structure of the Senate, which gives 2 votes to every state regardless of population, be reconsidered? (a debate presented by Bill Track 50 and Divided We Fall)
- Is the campaign finance system a cause for concern? Should we change it? (by Issue One)
- Are our election systems in trouble? Organizations like Issue One see existential threats to our democracy. Do you agree?
- What should we do with the Supreme Court Commission’s recommendations? Do you believe, like R Street does, that adding Justices and creating term limits would make the situation worse? What do you think of R Street’s other suggested reforms?
You don’t need to be an expert in civics or American history to have an opinion on these topics. However, there’s a lot to be said for knowing where we came from and how we got to where we are today. Our current systems didn’t happen accidentally (for the most part at least), and if you give yourself an opportunity to learn, you might be surprised by what you find.
- AllSides (blog) May 17th: 2022 Midterm Elections: Latest News, Polls and Examples of Media Bias
- American Values Coalition (blog) May 12th: Not All Evangelical Pastors Are Alike
- BillTrack50, Divided We Fall (blog) May 3rd: The Senate: Threat or Backbone of American Democracy?
- Braver Angels (article) Apr 29th: A former New Hampshire state legislator is working against ‘knee-bashing politics’
- Common Ground Committee (blog) May 11th: Media, Politics, and Polarization
- Divided We Fall (article) May 11th: Campaign Finance, Corruption, and Political Polarization
- Essential Partners (guide) May 16th: Guide to Conversations about the Role of Guns in American Life
- Essential Partners (article) May 4th: Hard to say, hard to hear, heart to heart: Inviting and harnessing strong emotions in dialogue for deliberation
- FairVote (blog) May 3rd: How the Fair Representation Act Can Solve the “Primary Problem”
- FairVote (blog) May 10th: Ranked Choice Voting in VA-11 GOP Primary: Initial Analysis
- Hispanic Leadership Fund (blog) May 10th: New Employment Mandate Would Break President Biden’s Promise on Taxes
- iCivics (blog) May 12th: AAPI Heritage Month: Lesson Plans and Resources for the Classroom
- iCivics (video) May 13th: CivXNow Advocacy Week Primer
- Interactivity Foundation (blog) May 6th: Freedom of Speech: A Community Conversation about Four Freedoms (Part 1 of 4)
- Interactivity Foundation (blog) May 6th: The Invasion of Ukraine & What it Means for Democracy – Looking Forward to Different Possibilities for Peace
- Leadership Now Project (newsletter) May 4th: Implications of Musk’s Twitter Takeover
- Listen First Project (video) May 13th: #ListenFirst Friday Juliana Tafur
- National Institute for Civil Discourse (report) May 16th: The Cost of Conducting Elections
- R Street Institute (explainer) May 12th: The High Price of “Cheap” Gas: What’s the True Cost of E15?
- Renew Democracy Initiative (blog) May 12th: The Bellwether Primaries
- Represent Women (blog) May 13th: Weekend Reading on Women's Representation May 13, 2022
- State Legislative Leaders Foundation (blog) May 12th: Beacons of Democracy: The 21st Century State Legislature
- The Center for Election Science (blog) May 11th: Elections are evolving, but our voting method isn’t keeping up
- The Factual (video) May 9th: Introducing The Factual News Search
- Unite America (newsletter) May 12th: Political ads are bad, but pointless political ads are worse
- Urban Rural Action (form) due May 22nd: Application for Leadership and Community Engagement Training: June 2022