The Weekly Update Newsletter

A Global Day of Giving

Posted by on November 27, 2017


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Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday, Shop Local Saturday, and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

Created by our member organization 92nd Street Y, Giving Tuesday connects diverse groups of individuals, communities, and organizations around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving. A team of influencers and founding partners joined forces - collaborating across sectors, offering expertise, and working tirelessly - to launch #GivingTuesday and have continued to shape, grow, and strengthen the movement.

Unsure of who to give to this Tuesday? Check out our member list of over 80 organizations that work on nearly every facet of political and civic reform.

To give a gift of any amount to Bridge Alliance, click the donate button below.

Bridge Alliance and our network of organizations thank you for your ongoing support.


Bridge Alliance Members In The News:
National Institute for Civil Discourse - Washington Post
Sustained Dialogue Institute - Washington Post
American Public Square- University News


Posted by on November 20, 2017

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Just over three years ago, 40 social entrepreneurs, nonprofit execs, dialogue/mediator professionals and political reform leaders gathered in a room in Reston, VA to address the question “What could we do together, that we could not do alone?” -- the topic was political reform. The contributions from that day would become the Bridge Alliance, which has grown to help more than 80 organizations connect and collaborate with each other.

We describe the work of our members as the American tapestry for political reform, which includes restoring the proper role of citizens in government/politics and helping government function more effectively to serve citizens. We recognize that each of our members is working on different components -- or threads -- of the tapestry, weaving their work with other organizations to create a better future for us all.

As citizens we all play an important role in the American tapestry. In addition to the work you do, you can help by joyfully sharing stories of our members’ activities and donating directly to our members or to the Bridge Alliance. This year we are grateful that we were able to support our members by promoting their events and building a strong network dedicated to working collaboratively, resulting in a collective impact that has amplified our individual voices. We also provided them with media and fundraising training and awarded Bridge Action Grants. Our members used these grants to lay the foundation for a broad spectrum of reforms, ranging from creating a website to “mismatch” people with different ideologies to helping state legislators reduce polarization in their states through civility workshops. Other projects have focused on promoting electoral and legislative reforms; developing a syndicated radio / TV program; evaluating negativity bias in social media; and encouraging constructive dialogue within different communities.  

We are profoundly grateful for your support of the Bridge Alliance and our members but, as we all know, our work is not done!   We -- the Bridge Alliance, its members, and you -- have not finished weaving our tapestry. Bridge Alliance will continue to expand our network in 2018 and provide new resources and grants to our members, and we ask that you continue your support as well. A gift of any amount can help us and our members reach their goals.  

Your voice and support can make a difference.

With gratitude,

Debilyn, David, Katie, Victoria, Jeremy and Juno
Bridge Alliance


Apply for the Cities of Service Engaged Cities Award!

Posted by on November 13, 2017

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Bridge Alliance member Cities of Service has launched the Engaged Cities Award, a new recognition program that finds andelevates city-led strategies that most successfully engage citizens to help create and implement solutions to pressing local problems.

Cities of Service knows that many cities around the world are involving citizens in creative and effective ways, including civic tech, data analysis, impact volunteering, and more. These cities are combining the reach of City Hall with the on-the-ground knowledge of citizens to solve public problems.

Are you one of these cities? Cities of Service wants to hear from you! The application process is easy. Just answer five short questions and submit your application by January 5, 2018. Ten finalists will be selected and complete a second round of applications. Winners will be announced as part of the Engaged Cities Award Summit in May 2018.

The Engaged Cities Award is open to cities with populations of 30,000+ in the Americas and Europe and will have three winners, including one $100,000 grand prize winner and two $50,000 winners.

Interested cities are encouraged to register for one of two informational webinars on November 13 or November 29.

For more information, and to apply, visit

Bridge Alliance


Bridge Alliance Members In The News:
Generation Citizen - New York Times
American Public Square - IVN
ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge- Meredith College

Upcoming Member Events

Posted by on November 05, 2017

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This year has been an expansive and exciting year for Bridge Alliance and our members. Our 81 members(and growing!) are a diverse group spanning across different areas - civic engagement, governance and policy making, campaigns and elections - but all committed to solving the great challenges facing our nation collaboratively and respectfully. We are happy to announce a few of their upcoming events and hope you will attend those that interest you.

Sustained Dialogue Institute - Please join leadership and friends for the Fourth Annual National Dialogue Awards Gala, on Thursday, November 16 at 6:30pm at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. This gathering is SDI’s flagship annual event celebrating visionary leaders whose accomplishments advance our goal of creating a world where people co-exist peacefully, justly, and productively through dialogue across divides.

Represent.Us - Unrig the System Summit from February 2-4, 2018 in New Orleans is no ordinary conference. No endless panels and speeches. It’s fast-paced and fun, with plenty of time to self-organize as you mingle with top advocacy leaders, academics, comedians, musicians, celebrities, activists, philanthropists and journalists. This is about crossing partisan and ideological divides and working together on concrete solutions to unrig America’s political system…. with plenty of New Orleans fun mixed in. 

Participatory Budgeting Project - Mark your calendars for the Innovations in Participatory Democracy Conference from March 8 – 10, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona – presented in partnership by the Participatory Governance Initiative at Arizona State University, the Participatory Budgeting Project, and the Policy Jury Group. We are bringing together more than 250 youth, educators, advocates, elected officials, and researchers to explore innovations that empower community members to make real decisions and directly participate in government

American Promise - The National Citizen Leadership Conference will take place on June 22-25, 2018 in Washington, DC. This Conference will provide an excellent opportunity to meet others working on a common cause of winning The 28th Amendment, as well as:

  • Discuss strategy, unity and the way forward to reclaiming our democracy
  • Celebrate our political, demographic and experiential similarities and differences
  • Generate enthusiasm for work that still needs to be done, while listening to and learning from a variety of distinguished speakers

Bridge Alliance


Bridge Alliance Members In The News:
BridgeUSA - The Christian Science Monitor
National Institute for Civil Discourse- CJ Online
ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge- The Herald News

Vietnam 50 years: Lessons Learned and Lessons Ignored

Posted by on November 02, 2017


The United States Association of Former Members of Congress is hosting a free and open event on November 16th - Vietnam 50 years: Lessons Learned and Lessons Ignored. A bipartisan group of former members of Congress will be discussing the tumultuous Vietnam era and how many issues in the 1960s and 1970s still play a role in our national dialogue. This event is free and open to the public - reserve your seat here!


Bridge Alliance


Bridge Alliance Members In The News:
Sustained Dialogue Institute - The Campus
National Institute for Civil Discourse- The Daily Wildcat
Citizen University- CityLab

The Civvys are almost here!

Posted by on October 16, 2017

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More than ever before, America’s future depends on working together. We need to celebrate the people and initiatives thatleverage collaboration and creativity to strengthen communities, heal partisan divides and invigorate American democracy. That’s why we created the American Civic Collaboration Awards - or Civvys.

The 2017 American Civic Collaboration Awards finalists all exemplify what it means to embrace diverse perspectives and make a difference. Selected by a panel of civic engagement experts from over 50 nominations, this year’s finalists have achieved on-the-ground impact at the youth, regional and national level. We are pleased to honor them, along with all our nominees, at an awards ceremony and reception on Friday, October 20 at the National Conference on Citizenship in Washington, D.C. The winners will be announced following the awards ceremony.

We’d also like to extend our sincere congratulations to all Civvys nominees, each of whom is harnessing teamwork to help overcome polarization and foster civic renewal.

2017 Civvys Finalists


  • Convergence Center for Policy Resolution
  • Sam Novey, ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge
  • State Legislative Leaders Foundation, National Institute for Civil Discourse & National Foundation for Women Legislators
  • Essential Partners
  • Peter Weichlein, USAFMC
  • Liz Joyner, Village Square
  • Ken Nwadike, Free Hugs Project


  • Craig Freshley, Make Shift Coffee House
  • New Hampshire Listens
  • Alabama Media Group
  • Bob Heisse and Chuck Hughes
  • Amy Curran, Generation Citizen
  • Pedro Silva, Living Room Conversations


  • Student PIRGS
  • Bridge The Divide
  • Montevallo Junior City Council

The Civvy awards are co-sponsored by the Bridge Alliance and Big Tent Nation.

Bridge Alliance

Bridge Alliance Member In The News:
Charter for Compassion - WEKU
National Institute for Civil Discourse - Maine Public
The Centrist Project - IVN


Public safety over party alliance

Posted by on October 09, 2017


The Bridge Alliance community stands in solidarity with the victims and their families of the Las Vegas attack. The senseless violence has left our nation stunned and in grief. It is time for our communities to come together and have the big conversations and a time for our policy makers to get to work.

This type of violence has been on the rise and should not be accepted as a normal occurrence in a nation that prides itself on ingenuity. Although all sides seem to have their own solutions to the problem, we can't seem to come together and compromise. It's time for our legislators to move past the gridlock and prioritize public safety over party alliances. As a nation, we must demand it.

Below are links to public representative directories where you can find contact information. Make your voice heard!
SenatorsHouse of RepresentativesGovernorsMayors

We also encourage you to make a contribution to the Las Vegas Victims Fund.

Bridge Alliance

Bridge Alliance Member In The News:
Millennial Action Project & Take Back Our Republic - FoxNews
92Y & Citizen University - The Daily Chronicle
National Institute for Civil Discourse - Akron Beacon Journal

Join us at the National Conference on Citizenship!

Posted by on October 01, 2017



Join us for the annual National Conference on Citizenship October 19-20 at The Washington Court Hotel in DC. With the goal of strengthening civic life in America, this working convening will focus on civic life, civic health, and civic renewal through the lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

The closing ceremony will be hosted by Bridge Alliance and Big Tent Nation where we will be announcing the winners of The American Civic Collaboration Awards. The nominees have been announced here! We hope to see you there and we thank the NCOC for letting us be a part.

Bridge Alliance


Bridge Alliance Members In The News:
Nonprofit VOTE - Markets Insider
Independent Voter Project - Digital Journal
Illinois Humanities - Columbia Chronicle

Open Primaries takes the 'politics' out of politics

Posted by on September 25, 2017



This week, John Opdycke, President of Bridge Alliance Member Open Primaries, and Steve Westly, founder of Ebay and formerly California's State Controller, co-wrote an op-ed titled "In California, open primaries took the 'politics' out of politics". This op-ed examines the direct link between California's recent passage of landmark, bipartisan climate change legislation and the open primaries that created the political environment for it.

We are proud to see Open Primaries at the forefront of creating tangible policy change around the nation. We think all states would benefit from a more flexible voting system and wider voting choices.

Bridge Alliance


Bridge Alliance Members In The News:
Charter for Compassion - Santa Monica Mirror
Participatory Budgeting Project - Next City
Project on Government Oversight - Gilmer Mirror

Disaster relief

Posted by on September 18, 2017


Our hearts have been heavy these past few weeks with the destruction and suffering that has occurred in Texas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, the Caribbean islands, and the western US. The hurricanes and fires have left thousands of people and animals in dire situations. This week, we are encouraging our base to make a contribution to assist those in need.

Below are a few organizations that are doing work in the affected areas.

Bridge Alliance