Pages tagged "Featured Blog"

In 2020, Our Bitterly Divided America Needs to Recommit to The Golden Rule

Co-Written by Joan Blades and Richard L. Tafel. Reposted from

As we move full speed into the election of 2020, we can feel the pull toward division, domination and revenge in our politics. We write this as two veterans of America's culture wars who fear that this round of battle could lead us toward violence.

As political activists we both know something about trying to bridge the divisions in politics. In 1998, Joan Blades, watched our nation polarize over the impeachment of the President. She co-founded as a bipartisan effort to move the nation toward healing and away from division. Earlier that same decade, Rich Tafel, a minister living in Massachusetts saw the increasing brutality of a culture war between the far left and religious right. He jumped in to bridge the divide by launching Log Cabin Republicans in 1993.

The Danger of American Plutophobia

By Logan Albright. Reposted from

The movie industry is as good a place as any to take stock of the national mood, and if this year is anything to go by, we have plenty to worry about. I’m thinking in particular of three films, each wildly successful either in terms of critical acclaim or box office results, that share a similar theme: hostility towards the rich.

First came Jordan Peele’s widely acclaimed horror film Us, in which a shadow world of miserable doppelgängers serves as a thinly veiled allegory for class warfare. The have-nots in the film are represented as virtual zombies, condemned to a life of servitude and emulation of their counterparts on surface, living happy and carefree lives.

What Will It Take to Be A Corporate Leader?

Reposted from

(Editor's Note: "CSR" means Corporate Social Responsibility and "ESG" means Environmental, Social, and Governance)

Stakeholder expectations are evolving faster than you can say “planetary boundary.” Here’s where corporate sustainability could be headed next.

Earlier this month, we hosted a group of senior corporate sustainability leaders in Portland for our bi-annual Corporate Working Group. At the two-day meeting, members of our Corporate Affinity Network exchanged insights with their peers on pressing sustainability trends and spoke candidly with the activists and funders that are advancing those trends.

One key question kept coming up in our conversations: What does corporate leadership look like today?

Conflicts in Space

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.

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

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.

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

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.

How to give MORE money to the causes you love

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.

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

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.

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

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.”

5 things we learned from the latest 2020 campaign finance reports

Reposted from Issue One.

Congressional and presidential candidates filed their latest campaign finance reports on Tuesday, detailing their fundraising and expenditures between July 1 and September 30.

Here are some key numbers to know, based on an Issue One review of these new filings.

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