Daily Resource Highlight - 12/27/2021

Posted by on December 27, 2021 at 2:24 PM

Below are the highlights and featured resources of this past week’s Daily* Resource.

December 21, 2021 - Bridge Alliance Members Show Off Their Bread and Butter

My 8th grade English teacher always reminded us to “show, don’t tell” with our writing. What he meant is that writing is much more engaging when you describe a scene in detail, rather than just saying that something happened. Example: “I saw a bear in the woods and played dead. He sniffed me and then went away” versus describing my fear, the feeling of the bear’s nose, the sounds the forest made around me, etc.

The work that Bridge Alliance members do works similarly. It’s great to tell people what you’re doing and the impact it has, but nothing beats showing your supporters your work and letting it speak for itself. Below are some examples of showing:

IndependentVoting.org, meanwhile, wants your help to show the power of independent-minded Americans. If you’re interested in becoming a spokesperson for the independent movement, complete this application ASAP. Spots are filling up quickly for its January training event, but they will have another event in May.

December 23, 2021 - Don’t Fall for the Kansas City Shuffle – Think Local 

Recently, one of my favorite writers in our movement – Jennifer Thompson of Civil Squared – used carnival games as a metaphor for what’s wrong with our democracy. The “Kansas City Shuffle” is when a carnival game is designed for you to lose even when you “win.” In her example, a guy pays $3 for the “guess your weight” game and wins….a 25 cent prize.

How does this relate to politics? Well, while we’re congratulating ourselves for not buying into the extreme polarization of D.C., we’re losing out on valuable opportunities to govern closer to home. Our relentless focus on nationalized politics has allowed politicians to centralize power in America. (I’m definitely guilty of this – if you give me a Senator’s name, I can tell you their state….but I can barely remember my mayor’s name even though I just looked it up).

Fortunately, Bridge Alliance members are here to help. On Tuesday, we mentioned that the National Civic League just released its 9th Model City Charter to help local governments work more effectively. Separately, the Davenport Institute sees the trend toward remote workers as an opportunity for local leaders to meet other community needs. You can also watch a short recap of the Institute’s year (less than 1 minute!).

And exciting things are happening at the state level as well! In the Minnesota State Senate, both parties elected leaders who are committed to bipartisanship. Senators Miller and Franzen are injecting new life into the Purple Caucus, which “was formed to bring moderate legislators from both parties together to achieve the legislative mission of addressing the problems of concern to the people of Minnesota.” Surprisingly, the Purple Caucus was not named for the blend of Republican Red and Democratic Blue, but you’ll have to read the article to discover its naming origin story.