The Weekly Update

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Rebelling in the American Tradition

Featured Blog Post: Impeachment, the Infographic, and the Messy Desk Subscribe to the podcast How Do We Fix It! And check out Episode 235: 2020: Celebrating Collaborations and Sharing (Debilyn is interviewed!) Rebellions in a democracy / republic look much different than in most other systems of government. There’s no need to stage a coup or bring out a guillotine when the system itself allows for significant reforms and power swings at the behest of the people. Our system obviously isn’t perfect (*cough* looks around *cough*), but it’s possible to upend the status quo without shedding a single drop of blood. To be clear, that does not mean working within the system is the only way to bring about real change. Our country has a long history of civil disobedience -- including such nonviolent techniques as boycotting, picketing, etc. -- which has long been considered a legitimate form of protest.

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The Alliance Welcomes Two Orgs Dedicated to Civics, And Welcomes Back a Third

If you unsubscribe from our updates (don’t test this out!), you get a message saying “you are always welcome to come back.” That invitation applies to many former members as well. Bridge Alliance member organizations are like family members, and family can drift apart. But like family, reunions can be extra sweet when the circumstances are right.

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It’s 2020...Let’s Stay Focused

It’s officially the year 2020, and that means that we have a highly consequential election upcoming. If you’re reading this, I can confidently say that you have a strong opinion about which party’s nominee should control the White House in 2021. I can also confidently say, though, that the winner of this election -- regardless of who they are -- will not fix America. That’s because there’s no silver bullet for fixing our system, and no single program, organization, or individual is capable of creating the type of change that we need; our problems are simply too numerous and complex.

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You Say You Want a Revolution. Well, You Know.

When I was deciding on the title of this Update, the first thing that came to mind was the Beatles’ song “Revolution.” That song was released in the late 1960’s, during a time of social and political confusion and upheaval. I think we can all agree that we are once again experiencing social and political confusion and upheaval. For me, all of this confusion naturally leads to the question “How does our nation get to the other side; to a better place than where we are today?" While no one can say what the answer is for sure, I’m seeing reasons to be hopeful. 

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A Visible Consensus (Pardon the Pun)

In researching what Bridge Alliance member organizations have been focused on lately, two themes emerged: Americans agree on a lot Videos and images are a good way to show that agreement Thus, we discovered there was a lot of visible consensus. For instance, RepresentUs got another assist from Hollywood; this time with Michael Douglas carrying the torch on behalf of the 87% (!!) of Americans who want their representatives to pass the American Anti-Corruption Act. Meanwhile, Convergence released its own video discussing how they build consensus among stakeholders with seemingly irreconcilable differences.

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#GivingTuesday is Over …. Long Live #GivingTuesday

Another #GivingTuesday is in the books. According to GivingTuesday.org, this charitable phenomenon generated nearly $2 billion in online and offline donations in the USA alone this year. And that’s incredible. Indeed, we are especially proud of #GivingTuesday’s impact given that Bridge Alliance member 92Y created the concept! That said, #GivingTuesday is just one day each year. It’s a very important day, but if our ultimate goal is healthy self-governance, we must work towards that goal year round. That doesn’t mean donating every day, but it does mean consistently thinking about what you can contribute and how you can be part of the solution.

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Happy Thanksgiving! Big News Coming on #GivingTuesday

It’s the holiday season again and #GivingTuesday is next week! Last year, 3.6 million donations were made to charities worldwide. This year, we are taking the opportunity to make a big announcement, so stay tuned! In the meantime, we hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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Our Blind Spot

In the constant busyness of our democracy revitalization movement, we spend quite a lot of time focusing on how to fix the endless problems of the world, and we’re happy to do so. It is important, however, to remember to take care of and reflect on ourselves. This ensures we’re the best representatives of this movement we care about so deeply. The Institute for Cultural Evolution has a new character exercise, which can help us identify how to become our best selves.

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Who Is This All For? (Hint: It’s for Them)

When friends ask me what I do for a living, I say that I work for an organization that is trying to help fix the country -- to achieve healthy self-governance. One of the common responses I get to this is “Ha! Good luck with that!” This response makes perfect sense to me. We are a long, long way from achieving healthy self-governance. While the members of the Bridge Alliance are making very real gains everyday to improve civic engagement, electoral system reform, and governance and policy making, the path to true healthy self-governance is most likely a generation away.   

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