The Weekly Update

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Our Democratic Institutions Need Your Help! Also, “Hi!” from the Bridge Alliance Education Fund!

About a month ago, we told you that the Bridge Alliance Education Fund (BAEF) would soon be taking over the Weekly Update. That day has finally arrived. The BAEF’s mission is to inform you -- the Bridge Alliance’s supporters -- about the latest happenings in the democracy revitalization movement, so the Weekly Update fits neatly within our mission. With that said, it’s time for the Update!

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Celebrating Leaders in Congress while Taking Control of the Future

Each and every day, members of Congress serve their constituents in countless ways that simply don’t get headlines. The Bridge Alliance teamed up with the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) to recognize the most exceptional of these public servants with the Democracy Awards. You can watch the full award ceremony on C-SPAN here, and if you think your representative has done outstanding non-legislative work, call their office and encourage them to submit a nomination for the next round of Democracy Awards. Meanwhile, Unite America is leading a movement to elect new, independent leadership to offices nationwide. Their success was on full display two weeks ago in Denver, where independent candidates, elected officials, and reformers gathered for the first ever Unite Summit. You can see a video recap of the Summit here and you can watch one of their “Indy Talks” (TED Talk-esque) here.

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ALL IN and other Alliance Members just made voting MUCH easier

Under the U.S. Constitution, the States control the “Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives” for Congress. This can make voting difficult for U.S. citizens, as each State has its own set of rules and those rules can vary greatly. In Pennsylvania, for instance, you can only vote by mail if you are unable to go to the polls on election day. In Oregon, on the other hand, you can only vote by mail -- full stop. There are no polling locations. To make things easier, the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge has launched ALLINToVote.org in collaboration with fellow Alliance members Democracy Works, Campus Vote Project, and BallotReady. ALL IN to Vote was built with college students in mind, but can be used by anybody who is eligible to vote.

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The Alliance Expands Again! New Leaders guided by faith, business, and a commitment to fair elections.

The Bridge Alliance was started with a simple question, “What can we do better together, that none of us can do alone?” Since then, the goal of the Bridge Alliance has been to bring together the leaders of the American revitalization movement. It’s now one step closer to its goal with the additions of One America Movement, Business for America, and The Center for Election Science.

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Bridge Alliance members show how to disagree without being disagreeable

This fall Bridge Alliance member organization The Village Square is launching a new project on campuses across the country called Respect + Rebellion. The programs will feature pairs of speakers with divergent viewpoints who still maintain a respectful personal or professional relationship -- a contrast to the predictable "controversial speaker, protest, repeat" formula used by many campuses.

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Civvys Finalists Announced! See the Winners at the 2018 Conference on Citizenship

Yesterday, Bridge Alliance and Big Tent Nation, in partnership with the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), announced 23 outstanding finalists for the 2018 Civvy Awards, which you can view at www.civvys.org. This group of inspiring organizations and individuals are using collaborative action to move our country forward in civic and political life. Finalists have been announced in 4 categories, highlighting projects with national, local, youth-focused and political impact. Civvys Awards winners and finalists will be celebrated in a ceremony during the NCoC’s 2018 Annual Conference on Citizenship: It’s Your Democracy in Washington, D.C. on October 17th and 18th.

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Bridge Alliance and its Members Featured on PBS’ The Open Mind

The Open Mind is the longest-running nationally broadcast public affairs interview program in the USA. It first aired in 1956 and since then has hosted interviews with some of the greatest minds in our nation’s history, including Martin Luther King, Jr., William F. Buckley, and Elie Wiesel -- just to name a few.

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Weekly Update Presented by the Bridge Alliance Education Fund….Coming Soon!

There are two organizations within the Bridge Alliance’s family. One is the Bridge Alliance, and the other is its sister organization -- the Bridge Alliance Education Fund (or BAEF for short). The BAEF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to informing the public of the latest happenings in the democracy revitalization movement -- i.e. the efforts of Bridge Alliance members to promote civic engagement; good governance; and better electoral processes.

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Democracy is in Retreat...Tisch College is Trying to Figure Out How to Bring it Back

A few weeks ago (June 21-23) the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life (one of the Bridge Alliance’s strategic partners) hosted its annual Frontiers of Democracy Conference. The purpose of the conference is to bring together scholars, activists, journalists, government workers, etc. to reverse the decline of democracy, which -- according to Freedom House -- has been in a worldwide retreat for over a decade now.

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The Democracy Awards go to…

As we approach the midterm elections, it is easy to get caught up in the raw partisanship that has engulfed D.C. We start seeing individual contests as a race between a vote for your party’s agenda and a vote against your party’s agenda. Members of Congress, however, have a myriad of important duties beyond just casting a vote -- they are OUR  representatives. The Democracy Awards, presented by the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) and the Bridge Alliance as a founding partner, celebrate Members who excel at these less visible -- but absolutely vital -- duties of office. While these individuals may be best known for their vote on Legislation X or Nominee Y, we believe they deserve praise for the work described below:

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