The Weekly Update

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Celebrating Women’s History Month with Forward Thinking Leaders

In 1987, the U.S. Congress designated March as “Women’s History Month.” The preamble to the resolution started by acknowledging that American women have strengthened our nation in countless ways, both “recorded and unrecorded.” It then noted women’s outsized contributions throughout our nation’s history and their early leadership during every major social movement. At the Bridge Alliance Education Fund, we witness such early leadership every day. Approximately half of the Alliance is led by women (including the Bridge Alliance itself), and those women are spearheading work in every segment of the larger revitalization movement.

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POGO Releases its Baker’s Dozen & Nominations Open for $10k Award

When I found out that POGO had released its “Baker’s Dozen,” my sweet tooth perked up its metaphorical ears. I was disappointed to find out it had nothing to do with food….but that disappointment went away (mostly) when I found out what the Baker’s Dozen actually was -- a collection of legislative recommendations to combat waste and corruption in Washington, D.C. You can watch POGO’s Liz Hempowicz give an overview of the report, which cover 13 policy areas (hence the name), by clicking here.

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Unbreaking America with J-Law & A Sermon from Boise, Idaho

That said, her new video with Represent.Us is definitely worth a watch. In the aptly titled Unbreaking America, she examines our broken political system (fun fact: there is almost zero correlation between public approval for a bill and its likelihood of passage), and then puts forward solutions as well as a call to action for Americans who want to get involved. The video is less than 13 minutes long (including credits), so take a moment to check it out.

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Weekly Update by Jim Jonas of NANR - Healthy Self Governance Update

It was a very exciting month of January for organizations in the Electoral Systems and Reform sector. There was a lot of legislation advanced as members worked with newly seated legislatures to promote accountability and make our electoral systems more democratic. Additionally, several organizations announced internal efforts to help advance their missions. Among the legislative victories:

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Democracy Revitalization from Anywhere and Everywhere

Bill Gates once said, “The internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.” In a country as large as the United States, the internet’s ability to connect people from all corners is absolutely critical to our movement. It allows us to come together -- no matter where we are -- to discuss ideas, support each other, and build a sense of community.

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How a Bridge Sponsored Collaboration Became a Nationwide Success

Back in 2017, the Bridge Alliance distributed $525,000 in project grants to collaborative projects by two or more member organizations. One of these projects was a joint effort by The Village Square and 92Y to “[c]reate a new model for Americans of different backgrounds and beliefs to come together in face-to-face conversations.” That model is now known as Ben Franklin Circles.

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So, What Has the Alliance Done?….And Let’s Have a #DemocracyChat

Over its nearly 4 year existence, the Bridge Alliance has lead and/or supported a number of inspiring projects -- Bridge Action Grants; Member Summits; the Democracy Awards. In their annual State of the Alliance, Debilyn and David do a fantastic job of summarizing the Alliance’s greatest hits and laying out its vision for the future in just two pages. If you believe in the Alliance’s mission and want to know what to expect next, this is a can’t-miss, easy read.

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The New Year Brings Upgrades and New Leadership

Websites are like milk. They play a big role in most of our lives, and they go bad very quickly. A website that was cutting edge a few years ago is bleh today. That’s why we constantly hear Bridge Alliance members talk about updating their websites. The latest to do so is The Center for Election Science, whose new website is highly interactive, navigable, and -- quite frankly -- fun. We encourage you to check it out to (1) learn the merits of Approval Voting and (2) see all the ways in which they’ve made their website “pop.” It’s impressive to say the least.

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Congress Ready To Modernize? And Deadline Approaching for #EngagedCities Awards

As you know, it is getting harder and harder to achieve significant bipartisan support on any issue these days. That’s why we were delighted to learn that Issue One, among others, successfully shepherded the creation of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, which was adopted by a vote of 418-12 on January 4th. The Committee will be tasked with promoting a more modern and efficient Congress, which will presumably include addressing shortcomings identified by the Congressional Management Foundation in its report from 2016.

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It's Just About Time To Unrig The System

In 2018, Represent.Us had over 150 different thought leaders from across the nation -- representing all parts of the political spectrum -- present at the first ever Unrig Summit in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 2019, they are hosting the summit in Nashville, Tennessee from March 29th through the 31st. If you’re looking for a way to dive headfirst into the revitalization movement, you can’t do much better than by attending Unrig Nashville. Tickets are on sale, so order now.

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