Daily* Resource Newsletter

Could “Matching Funds” be a Game Changer in Your State?

Posted by Bridge Alliance Education Fund on March 06, 2020

Featured Blog Post: The “Most Abused” Freedom of Information Act Exemption Still Needs to Be Reined In

Find a Job in the Movement at DemocracyJobs.org

It seems like every campaign season candidates brag about raising millions from their “small donor” base, which serves as “proof” that they are not controlled by big money donors. It’s even better to say that you’ve raised more money from small donors than large donors. It’s even better to say that you’ve raised more money from small donors than large donors. Unfortunately, it takes a high profile campaign to pull that off, and the vast majority of candidates are not running high profile campaigns. That’s why, according to the National Institute for Money in Politics (NIMP), the average candidate for state office receives over ¾ of their campaign contributions from some combination of large donors ($1,000+), non-party organizations, and their political party.

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Bowling with Others during a Hectic Election year

Posted by Bridge Alliance Education Fund on February 27, 2020

Featured Blog Post: Creating Better Conversations through Meta-Consensus

Sign up for The Fulcrum; nonpartisan coverage of the healthy self-governance movement!

It’s easy to feel alone during the dreary winter months, as our voices seem drowned out by the chaos of the election cycle. We all seem to be “Bowling Alone.” Common Ground Solutions is exploring this loneliness at its core, and the efforts to reverse the destructive trend -- including those led by Bridge Alliance member Citizen University.

If you (or someone you know) are lonely and disengaged, check out the multitude of Bridge Alliance member organizations that want to connect with you! Events are happening all the time, both virtually and in-person. If you happen to be in the D.C. / Maryland area on February 28th, Better Angels is hosting a workshop in Carroll County, Maryland on how to communicate effectively across the political divide, and Stand Up Republic is hosting its Summit on Principled Conservatism. And if you happen to be in northern Florida in early March, Village Square is planning its Annual Tallahassee Town Hall on March 10th.

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Empowering New, Young Leaders in this New Decade

Posted by Bridge Alliance Education Fund on February 20, 2020

Featured Blog Post: Coordination Watch: How candidates and outside groups work together to evade anti-corruption laws

Subscribe to How Do We Fix It! And check out Episode 241: Boosting Voter Turnout: Seth Flaxman

It is difficult for young people to become active participants in our democratic republic. Before you’re 18, you aren’t allowed to vote or run for public office. So when young people go to college, becoming politically engaged isn’t automatic. It can take a backseat to coping with living on their own for the first time, along with handling a more challenging course load and entirely new social dynamics, including people whose political views are shaped by entirely different life experiences.  

This is one of the reasons why youth empowerment organizations are so critical to the healthy self-governance movement. It is vital to help young Americans build civic habits early on, which is why the Bridge Alliance is thrilled to welcome the higher education focused Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP) and high school focused Civics Unplugged to the Alliance.

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Collaborating on Conversations -- and How Congress is Failing Whistleblowers

Posted by Bridge Alliance Education Fund on February 13, 2020

Featured Blog Post: Partisan Takes Won't Define Nonpartisan Action Civics

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A large part of the Bridge Alliance’s work revolves around conversations. “Bridging Ideological Divides” is the biggest category of membership (31 organizations), and “Facilitating Citizen / Government Interaction” isn’t too far behind (19 organizations). With so many member organizations interested in encouraging dialogue to bridge the divide and find common ground, there are numerous opportunities for collaboration.

The Center for the Study of Liberty (CSL) is taking full advantage by partnering with two of the biggest names in citizen discussions -- Better Angels and Living Room Conversations (LRC). On February 19th, CSL will host John Wood, Jr. of Better Angels for a conversation about “the ‘unmooring’ that took place in 2016, the influence of college campuses on our national dialogue, the importance of rebuilding our ‘emotional economy,’ and much more.” 

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You Want a Job in the Movement? Bookmark This Website

Posted by Bridge Alliance Education Fund on February 06, 2020

Featured Blog Post: Red or Blue? Liberal or Conservative? The Pitfalls of Labels

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People regularly ask me how they can get a job in the healthy self-governance movement. Usually my advice is to attend different events, network, and check out Bridge Alliance members’ websites. This has always felt unsatisfying. While I understand that, until very recently, you had to scour the newspaper and make phone calls to find a job (trust me, I did all of that!), this is 2020 for goodness sakes! It should be easy for employers and job seekers in our field to find each other (see, e.g., Indeed, Idealist, ZipRecruiter, etc.).

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The (Capitol) Hill Has Gotten Rocky

Posted by Bridge Alliance Education Fund on January 30, 2020

Featured Blog Post: Take a Seat at Oregon’s Kitchen Table: Adapting Targeted Universalism for Broad and Deep Civic Engagement

Subscribe to the podcast How Do We Fix It! And check out Episode 237: Want Consensus? Try Convergence: Rob Fersh

The Hill -- and especially the House -- is a tough place to work. As Kevin Kosar of the R Street Institute recently testified, staffers are underpaid, overworked, and there’s not enough manpower to go around (as a former constituent services representative who earned ~$30k while working 74 hour weeks...I can confirm). Furthermore, members of the House are constantly under the gun to raise reelection funds, since they are “up for reelection” the moment they get sworn into office. Meanwhile, the American people are upset because nothing seems to ever get done, and the media profits off of the frustration by feeding us a never ending soap opera that not even General Hospital can rival.

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Rebelling in the American Tradition

Posted by Bridge Alliance Education Fund on January 23, 2020

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

Posted by Bridge Alliance Education Fund on January 16, 2020

Featured Blog Post: In 2020, Our Bitterly Divided America Needs to Recommit to The Golden Rule

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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

Posted by Bridge Alliance Education Fund on January 09, 2020

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.

Posted by Bridge Alliance Education Fund on December 20, 2019

Featured Blog Post: The Danger of American Plutophobia

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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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