Posted by Bridge Alliance on January 23, 2017
We are sharing with you a note we received last week that was not only timely but timeless. You can find it online here, along with the inaugural issue of the Transpartisan Review. Enjoy!
Transpartisan Note #29
by A. Lawrence Chickering and James S. Turner
On March 4, 1801, Thomas Jefferson walked from his rooming house at New Jersey Avenue and C Street in Washington, DC (about a block from today’s Union Station), to the Senate Chamber in the new, under construction, Capitol building for his inauguration as the third U.S. President. Jefferson, the first President inaugurated in the brand new Capital City, led the Democratic-Republican party.
Formed in the 1790s, Jefferson’s Democratic-Republicans and Alexander Hamilton’s Federalists were the country’s, and thus the world’s, first political parties. The Democratic-Republicans believed in an agrarian-based, decentralized, democratic government. The Federalist Party came into being as a national coalition of bankers and businessmen in support of Alexander Hamilton’s fiscal policies. It existed from the early 1790s to 1816; its remnants lasted into the 1820s.
In 1826, Andrew Jackson entered the White House, and Jefferson’s party split into Jackson Democrats and a party called National Republicans. In the 1830s Whigs (including Lincoln) replaced the National Republicans until the 1850s, when the Republican Party of Lincoln, the beginning of today’s Republicans, emerged.
Jefferson walked to his inauguration in the clothes ‘of a plain citizen without any distinctive badge of office’, making the point that he and his party stood for the working people, famers and small businesses rather than rich carriage-riding banking and business elites. Historians consider the rumor- and innuendo-filled 1800 campaign as one of (if not the) dirtiest in American history.
Jefferson spoke to mend the wounds of the campaign. ‘Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. . . . We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists. . . .’ he said. Let critics of our society ‘stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.’
John Adams, Jefferson’s Federalist adversary, disdained the new President by avoiding the inauguration and heading home to Massachusetts before sunrise. The 1800 party fight had undercut Madison’s Federalist #10 assertion that a well- constructed Union tended to ‘break and control the violence of faction.’ He called faction a ‘dangerous vice’.
Twenty-five years and four months later, on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of American Independence, both Jefferson and Adams died. The HISTORY site says, ‘Adams’ last words were, “Thomas Jefferson still survives,” though his old friend and political adversary had died a few hours before.’
‘Old friend and adversary’ captures a key aspect of Transpartisan politics. These two founders together worked on The Declaration of Independence, served in the first ten years of U.S. government, and fought over core principles of American life. From 1777 to 1826, with an 1801 to 1812 hiatus as adversaries, they corresponded about politics and life. These famous letters are regarded as masterpieces of the American enlightenment.
The energies that bind people together personally create the vitality and space for passionate discourse. Transpartisan politics seeks to harness this vitality and expand this discourse. We are all Democratic-Republicans . . . we are all Americans.
Posted by Bridge Alliance on January 16, 2017
In the new year, the Bridge Alliance has grown with 2 new member organizations. Our membership base doubled in 2016 and we are still expanding. 2017 brings new opportunities for our members to collaborate with each other and for our movement to reach critical mass. Our newest members are the Project On Government Oversight and iCivics.
Project On Government Oversight(POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.
iCivics exists to engage students in meaningful civic learning. We provide civics teachers well-written, inventive, and free resources that enhance their practice and inspire their classrooms, ensuring every student receives a high-quality civic education.
Posted by Bridge Alliance on December 30, 2016
The year just ending has been an historic year - For America, of course, and for the Bridge Alliance.
While the wounds are deep and the divide is wide in our country, we believe – and know you do, too – that individually and collectively we can bridge the divide.
From the Alliance’s inception in early 2015 we have stated that we firmly believe for meaningful political transformation to occur in our nation, a network must be established to build a shared identity, as Americans who put country before party and who are dedicated to collaborative civic problem solving and collaborative public policy innovations. Together we are well on our way to achieving this lofty goal.
In 2016, our Alliance grew from 30 members to 63 members today, with more joining all the time.
COLLECTIVE IMPACT GRANTS:
Strength in numbers is just one part of the value we bring. As part of our strategy, we are focused on the collective impact we can make. We ended the year by announcing the Bridge Alliance collective impact grant program, as the first concrete step in creating the collaborative efforts among organizations and leaders who are focused on their aligned missions.
You can contribute to the Collective Impact grants program by donating here.
The Bridge Alliance is proud to announce key strategic partnerships for 2017 that will vastly increase our impact:
Congressional Management Foundation Democracy Awards
The annual Democracy Awards program focuses on recognizing legislators and staff who are using exemplary practices in the service of Congress and their constituents.
People’s Democracy Playbook: For running low-cost campaigns
We need regular citizens in Congress! The Bridge Alliance and the Pluribus Project is supporting the People’s Democracy Playbook, a highly innovate open source platform guide for running a low-cost $250,000 campaign.
Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University- Support Services
Dr. Peter Levine and his staff have a long tradition of working with nonprofits in the civic engagement sector. We will be announcing early in 2017 the specific services that will be available to Bridge Alliance members.
Invest America- Investment in Collective Impact Projects
The Fund provides seed financing and grants to the emerging community of political entrepreneurs whose core mission is to solve our toughest national problems.
This is a unique and catalytic moment in our history that offers challenges but also offers enormous opportunities. Let us enter the 2017 together as one to meet the challenges.
You can make a difference by supporting the Collective Impact grants program here.
Happy New Year and best wishes for a year-and beyond- of civility, respect, goodwill, prosperity and peace.
David, Debilyn, Juno & Katie
The Bridge Alliance Core Team
Posted by Bridge Alliance on December 29, 2016
In the past few weeks, the Bridge Alliance has grown with 8 new member organizations which puts our total membership at 63! The rapid growth in our membership base provides new opportunities for collaboration, civic problem solving, and public policy innovation. Our newest members are American Promise, Generation Citizen, The United States Association of Former Members of Congress, Everyday Democracy, The Pluribus Project, Ask Big Questions, The Institute for Civility in Government, and Open Primaries. We encourage you to visit their websites and support the work each of them are doing.
American Promise is a strategic, inter-partisan organization designed to win the 28th Amendment to the Constitution so that people - not money, not corporations, not special interests - govern America. Learn More
Generation Citizen (GC) works to ensure that every student in the United States receives an effective action civics education, which provides them with the knowledge and skills necessary to participate in our democracy as active citizens. Learn More
The USAFMC utilizes the skill sets of its 600 members to provide pro bono programs and initiatives both at home and abroad. Using the expertise of its membership, FMC has created programs to educate, assist, and support Congress domestically and internationally. Learn More
Everyday Democracy's mission is to help communities talk and work together to create communities that work for everyone. We work directly with local communities, providing advice and training and flexible how-to resources. Learn More
The Pluribus Project is building the political power of the many by cultivating an alternative path to electoral victory that incentivizes our elected officials to advance broad public interests, not just those of wealthy elites or partisan extremes. Learn More
Ask Big Questions partners with colleges, universities, and organizations to engage young adults in community conversations about purpose, identity, and responsibility. These conversations build trust, strengthen community, and deepen understanding across lines of difference. Learn More
The Institute for Civility in Government is an organization that is building civility in a society that all too often seems tilted toward uncivil speech and actions. We do not endorse any political candidate, nor do we take a position on any issue. We are about process, not positions. Learn More
Open Primaries mission is to advocate for open and nonpartisan primary systems, counter efforts to impose closed primaries, educate voters, train and support spokespeople, and participate in the building of local, state and national open primaries coalitions. Learn More
Posted by Kahlil Byrd on December 19, 2016
The Bridge Alliance is proud to announce an investment strategic partnership between the Bridge Alliance and Invest America Fund.
The Bridge Alliance recently announced a $300,000 grant program to Bridge Alliance members who best qualify for investment funds based on the strength of their collaborative programs. A fundamental tenet that drives the Bridge Alliance strategy is the conviction that for significant political transformation to occur, a network must be established to build a shared identity, raise visibility, strengthen and expand the numbers of organizations and individuals dedicated to collaborative civic problem solving and collaborative public policy innovation. The funding of collective impact programs will drive this process.
Invest America has just launched it’s first national fund focused on bipartisan and nonpartisan policy reform and transformation. The fund provides seed financing and grants to the emerging community of political entrepreneurs whose core mission is to solve our toughest national problems.
Please refer to the two links below from Invest America Fund:
We are proud to announce that Invest America Fund has committed to allocating a significant portion of their funds to investing in Bridge Alliance collective impact projects.
An important Stanford University writing entitled “Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work” states the following
“The complex nature of most social problems belies the idea that any single program or organization, however well managed and funded, can single-handedly create lasting large-scale change. “
We are confident that the strategic partnership just announced between Invest America Fund and Bridge Alliance is the first step bringing the infrastructure and financing to the bipartisan/nonpartisan political movement that is needed now more than ever.
Posted by Marilyn Turkovich on December 12, 2016
Join us in adding a picture of yourself to the Charter for Compassion's Faces Of Compassion campaign. When you do, zumyn.com will donate $1 to the Charter for Compassion in your name. They need 10,000 people to finish it! The final mosaic will be displayed at various locations over the next year and help support projects around the world.
To add your picture, upload it to Twitter, tag it with #FacesOfCompassion and @zumyn_mosaics – and help build a banner for display at events worldwide – a mural of a compassionate city, formed from all our faces.
Click here to learn more about the Charter.
Click here to learn more about the campaign.
Posted by Bridge Alliance on December 04, 2016
We at Bridge Alliance hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. In the past week, have grown by 5 new member organizations which puts our total membership at 54! The rapid growth in our membership provides proof that organizations and individuals in our nation are committed to collaborative civic problem solving and public policy innovation. Our newest members are All In Together, Stronger U.S. Education Fund, Independent Voter Project, National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL), and TheChisel.
Posted by Bridge Alliance on November 21, 2016
The Bridge Alliance membership base has been growing quickly. This means greater exposure for organizations doing political bridge building work, more opportunities for strategic partnerships and joint collaboration, and building capacity and support for the transpartisan movement. We are excited to announce three more organizations that have been added to our network, Millennial Action Project, ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, and Common Ground Committee.
The Millennial Action Project has an audacious mission: re-establish political cooperation across parties and defeat the polarization and gridlock that is holding back our government and country. Our generation has a unique opportunity to forge a new path and lead our nation into the future, which is why MAP is committed to activating our nation's youngest generation of leaders and lawmakers.
Preparing graduates for their public lives as citizens, members of communities, and professionals in society has historically been a responsibility of higher education. The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge recognizes those postsecondary campuses committed to improving democratic engagement, increasing student voter participation rates, and graduating students with a lifelong commitment to being informed and active citizens. It also awards exemplary efforts in these same areas.
Common Ground Committee's mission statement is to pursue initiatives which will reveal common ground for finding truth, clarity, understanding, and progress on issues of importance in a civil manner that does not require compromise of fundamental principles.
Posted by Bridge Alliance on November 16, 2016
History shows that the challenges fracturing our nation remain beyond the capacity of the two party process to move our nation forward. It is time for our country to heal and put country before party so that we can fulfill the American dream. On a bright note, Bridge Alliance's membership of organizations doing outstanding work keeps growing. We are excited to announce that Cities of Service, Sustained Dialogue Institute, and State Legislative Leaders Foundation have joined us.
Cities of Service is a national nonprofit organization that supports mayors and city chief executives in their efforts to engage local communities and residents, identify challenges, and solve problems together. We work with cities to build city-led, citizen-powered initiatives that target specific needs, achieve long-term and measurable outcomes, improve the quality of life for residents, and build stronger cities.
Sustained Dialogue Institute develops leaders able to transform differences into the strong relationships essential to effective decision-making, democratic governance, and peace. Sustained Dialogue differs from other changemaking processes through its focus on understanding the nature of community relationships, which are often the “problem behind the problem”.
State Legislative Leaders Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to professional development for our nation’s current and future state legislative leaders. Our constituency includes Speakers of the House, Senate Presidents, Majority Leaders, Minority Leaders, and Pro Tempores. And through our Emerging Leaders Program, we offer mentoring to first and second term legislators who have been identified by their peers as future leaders.
Posted by Bridge Alliance on November 16, 2016
This last summer, the Bridge Alliance was busy making connections and bringing new organizations on board. We wanted to take a moment to highlight two of our newer members and the powerful work they are doing.
Illinois Humanities works to build dialogue across all sectors of society to examine issues important to democracy in the focus areas of public policy, media & journalism, business, and art. Using the humanities as tools to stimulate discussion, we create experiences across Illinois through programming, events, and grantmaking to engage a diverse public on ideas and issues that matter.
The Institute for Local Government promotes good government at the local level with practical, impartial and easy-to-use resources for California communities. The Institute’s goal is to assist local leaders to govern openly, effectively and ethically, work collaboratively and foster healthy and sustainable communities.
The Bridge Alliance is proud to have new organizations joining our network that all have in common a commitment to working together for collective impact and increasing visibility for all those who want to strengthen the common ground.