The Weekly Update Newsletter

Civvys Finalists! Two New Members! One Wants Your State to be More Like Oregon

Posted by on August 29, 2019

Featured Blog Post: Social Media Wasn't Built for Balanced News

Visit The Fulcrum for nonpartisan news coverage of the democracy reform movement!

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this Update listed Arizona as one of three states that votes entirely by mail. This was incorrect. 75% of Arizona votes by mail. Colorado votes entirely by mail. Additionally, Hawaii and Utah recently adopted vote-by-mail.

A few years ago, my sister moved from New York City to Oregon with her husband and two children. As you can imagine, moving across the country was not easy. Moving is always inconvenient, and that inconvenience is multiplied several times when you are headed several hours by airplane away from your family.

One thing that became more convenient? Voting. Washington is one of fives states (along with Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii, and Utah) that holds elections entirely by mail. And the National Vote at Home Institute -- the leading advocate for mail-in-voting and newest member of the Bridge Alliance family -- thinks you should have that same option.

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Bridge Alliance Members Are Working Hard To Keep YOU Informed

Posted by on August 22, 2019

Featured Blog Post: A business leader’s perspective: Why should organizations adopt second-chance hiring?

Visit The Fulcrum for nonpartisan news coverage of the democracy reform movement!


Without informed and engaged citizens like you, there is no democracy movement.

From information and ideas comes action in the form of your vote, your thoughtful discussions, your activism and engagement in the democratic process. 

Democracy is not a spectator sport! 

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Participatory Budgeting Gets An International Boost

Posted by on August 15, 2019

Featured Blog Post: What Music Can Teach Us About Dismantling Organizational Silos

If you haven’t already, check out The Fulcrum!

The focus of the Bridge Alliance family is the United States. In fact, as you may have noticed, we rarely -- if ever -- talk about global affairs. This doesn’t mean that Bridge Alliance members limit their work to the USA (Charter for Compassion is active in almost 50 nations!), but when you open the Weekly Update, the overwhelming likelihood is that you’ll learn more about a domestic effort to get our nation back on track.

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Ballotpedia Joins the Bridge Alliance Family

Posted by on August 08, 2019

Featured Blog Post: Outsiders and Communities: Comparing Immigration and Gentrification

We are excited to announce that the newest member of the Bridge Alliance family is Ballotpedia

If you have never heard of Ballotpedia, we encourage you to check them out. Ballotpedia’s goal is to inform people about politics by providing accurate and objective information about politics at all levels of government. Moreover, they are firmly committed to neutrality. 

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Good Governance Update: Innovating and Holding Lawmakers Accountable

Posted by on August 02, 2019

Featured Blog Post: Blocking Critics on Twitter: What Congress Should Know

If you haven’t already, check out The Fulcrum!

It’s time for another Democracy Field Overview update! For those who are relatively new to the Weekly Update...approximately once a month we give a quick overview of the latest happenings in one sector of the democracy movement. There are three sectors in all -- Civic Engagement, Electoral Systems & Campaigns, and Governance & Policymaking -- and we rotate through them every three months. This month, we are once again focusing on Governance & Policymaking; a.k.a. Promoting good governance.

Bridge Alliance members continue to encourage policymakers to be forward-thinking in both the how and the what of policymaking. First, in terms of how

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Are Closed Primaries Unconstitutional?

Posted by on July 25, 2019

Featured Blog Post: Playtesting: A New Cast Your Vote is On The Way

If you haven’t already, check out The Fulcrum!

Several members of the Bridge Alliance are fighting for open primaries, including and, of course, Open Primaries. These efforts include pressuring politicians to introduce and pass legislation and trying to get ballot initiatives up for popular vote -- i.e. democratic approaches. While these campaigns have certainly produced results, reformers face a constant up-hill battle against status quo-minded state parties.

What if closed primaries are unconstitutional, though? What if the U.S. Constitution protects independent-minded Americans from having to register with a particular party in order to participate in the primary process? According to three legal scholars (including Jeremy Gruber of Open Primaries), that’s precisely the situation. You can hear them make their case on a conference call with on July 29th @ 8:30 PM EDT. Email Cathy Stewart at [email protected] for more information.

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These Groups Are Achieving Success by Bringing People Together

Posted by on July 17, 2019

Featured Blog Post: How a Hijab-Wearing Muslim and a MAGA Hat-Wearing Conservative Formed a Friendship

If you haven’t already, check out The Fulcrum!

We are living in a time of intense division and isolation. A study released last year found that nearly half of American adults (43%) reported feeling lonely. As humans, we are naturally social creatures and we want to connect with other humans. And when we do connect, the results can be incredible.

A number of Bridge Alliance members have done great work connecting and uniting people with a common purpose. In this week’s Update, we focus on four such members whose efforts look very different, but who are each bridging divides within our country:

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Millennials Are Making Their Mark in Congress and the States

Posted by on July 11, 2019

Featured Blog Post: A Place to Go and a Place to Stand: Can Democracy Save Itself?

If you haven’t already, check out The Fulcrum!

Millennials (defined as people born between 1981 and 1996)  still aren’t quite old enough to have a significant, elected presence on the Hill. Just one Senator -- Josh Hawley -- is less than 40 years old, and only 26 of 435 House Representatives were born after 1980 (20 of those were elected during the 2018 midterms, including 3 of the 4 new Congressional Future Caucus leaders).

Nevertheless, millennials are still finding ways to make their mark in Congress. For instance, some are becoming Congressional Innovation Fellows  with TechCongress and helping to bring the legislative branch into the 21st century. These men and women are bringing their expertise to bear on legislation and helping to bridge the gap between Silicon Valley and D.C. lawmakers. Impressively, the 2019 Fellows averaged over seven offers per fellow.

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Exemplars of Public Service Receive Democracy Awards

Posted by on July 03, 2019

Featured Blog Post: 7 Ways for Teens to Get Involved in Politics

This Week’s Survey: How Old Are You?

The Bridge Alliance is proud to be a Founding Partner of the Congressional Management Foundation's Democracy Awards! During a time of fierce polarization and mistrust in government, the Democracy Awards recognize exceptional work in the areas of constituent services, workplace environment, transparency and accountability, and lifetime achievement. As you’ll see from the links, great work is still being accomplished on the Hill by both Democrats and Republicans, even in the most partisan times.

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I’m Sensing a Pattern Here… (Updates in Civic Engagement)

Posted by on June 26, 2019

Featured Blog Post: Why you don't vote.

Before we talk patterns or surveys, I wanted to let you know that the Bridge Alliance, Big Tent Nation, and NCoC are accepting nominations for the Third Annual Civvys Awards until July 12th. If you know an individual, organization, or project that is making a positive impact through collaboration, nominate them here. The categories are National, Local, and Youth.

As for last week’s survey...we asked you what “Civic Engagement” means to you, and many of you responded (results at the bottom -- spoiler: the #1 response might surprise you!). 

Our question this week: how many of your friends are on the “other side” ideologically?

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