Daily* Resource Newsletter

Bridge Action Update

Posted by Bridge Alliance on July 31, 2017

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Bridge Alliance recently received quarterly updates from our Bridge Action(formerly Collective Impact) Grantees. We are excited to share with you excerpts from three of ten updates. 

Leading with Civility - Improving relationships within state legislatures for better policy decisions. "There is so much interest, we're looking forward to preparing future projects, and maintaining our connection and partnership with each other." 

Utah Community Partners - Preserve and cultivate deeper levels of "civic ecosystem" in Utah by training facilitators to help spark and organize diverse forms of productive sociopolitical dialogue across the state. "We are so grateful for the support of the Bridge Alliance Collective Impact Fund, without which this project would likely not be possible; and in addition to the work we're doing on the ground, we're happy to be learning from this pilot initiative as we are planning other similar projects in states across the US. Thank you for this opportunity to make a difference!"
 
Bridging Divides - Better informing people of government procedures, successes and roadblocks, by creating, testing and distributing a new series of radio, TV and webcasts. "A major success of the project has been securing Stephanie Sy, a 17-year veteran of ABC news, Al Jazeera and Yahoo News, as the anchor. She is incredibly knowledgeable, with a breadth of experience on the local, national and international media stage. Apart from her broadcasting duties, she has agreed to help edit and mold the scripts as necessary, ensuring a high-quality product."  

We are proud of the work that is being done through our grant program and look forward to seeing and sharing next quarters updates. 

Bridge Alliance would also like to announce our two newest members - Common Good and The Center for Technology and Civic Life!

CommonGoodLogoNoTag_Tall.jpgCommon Good is a nonpartisan reform coalition that offers Americans a new way to look at law and government. We propose practical, bold ideas to restore common sense to all three branches of government based on the principles of individual freedom, responsibility and accountability. Learn More

 

CTC-logo-RGB_horizontal-GoTo-Header.jpegWe bring together expertise in research, training, data analysis, software development, and election administration to tackle some of today’s most pressing civic problems. With our powers combined, and yours, we are modernizing engagement with local government for millions. Learn More


Bridge Alliance

Bridge Alliance Members In The News:
Project on Government Oversight - The Hill
The Centrist Project - Mass Live
iCivics - The Recorder

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Living Room Conversations & Listen First Project

Posted by Bridge Alliance on July 21, 2017

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Part of the mission of Bridge Alliance is to encourage collaboration between aligned organizations. Our update this week highlights one such collaboration.

There are rarely more caricatured groups than Southern Conservatives and San Francisco Liberals. Using a video conference platform, two Bridge Alliance members broke through barriers within these groups to have a series of unprecedented conversations.  Living Room Conversations and the Listen First Project broadcast the first conversation over social media (with some assistance from other Alliance members) to reach over 60K people.  They are part of The Listening Coalition, along with other Bridge Alliance members, to bring conversations to even more people across the nation. 

Pearce Godwin, Founder of Listen First Project and The Listening Coalition, wrote a blog documenting his experience in these first conversations.

"Using video conferencing, we brought three Southern Conservatives and three San Francisco Liberals together for each of several Listen First / Living Room Conversations. Facilitated by Sabrina Moyle, Jamie Gardner and me, each of these conversations exceeded our wildest expectations and proved that we can break through any barrier and find common ground when we come together not as us versus them but as me and you..."

You can read the blog in full here containing an inspiring story with uplifting quotes from participants. You can also watch one of the Facebook Live conversations here.

Bridge Alliance

Bridge Alliance Members In The News:
Centrist Project - Roll Call
Public Agenda - Beckers
Nation Institute for Civil Discourse - WKSU

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Two new members!

Posted by Bridge Alliance on July 10, 2017

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In the past week, Bridge Alliance has grown with 2 new members putting our membership count at 80! This growth in our membership base provides new opportunities for collaboration, civic problem solving, and public policy innovation. Our newest members are Listen First Project and Kitchen Table Democracy. We hope you will look into their work and support their efforts. 

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Listen First Project is a global non-profit that facilitates greater understanding, respect and cooperation by encouraging the timeless but abandoned practice of listening to each other, especially to those with whom we disagree. Learn More

KTD-Logo-1300x1000.pngKitchen Table Democracy creates and fosters collaborative governance capacities, structures, and networks in states. They support leaders, offer a nationally recognized source of information and demonstrate the effectiveness of collaborative, democratic based processes. Learn More

Bridge Alliance and our members thank you for your ongoing support.

Bridge Alliance

Bridge Alliance Members In The News
Project on Government Oversight - TheHill
The American Democracy Project - The Mercury News
Davenport Institute - PC Mag

 

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More public participation can save American democracy

Posted by Bridge Alliance on July 03, 2017

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Jessie Conover from Healthy Democracy recently wrote a blog challenging Lee Drutman's bold statement that more public participation isn’t the answer to our political woes because the reasonable, civically-minded voter is a myth.

Jessie says that public participation is much deeper and creative than the identification and engagement of reasonable, civically minded voters and civic participation takes many forms beyond politics. Participating in democracy is about connecting to others in community settings, which includes but is not limited to the world of politics and policy.

"In the close of his piece, Drutman calls on us to abandon the search for the mythical average citizen and seek an alternative. Since the author fails to articulate an alternative, I offer one here: let us expand our understanding of public participation to include the multitude of civic actions that add value to our democracy."

These processes to build social and community take time, resources, and require creativity but it is a worthwhile investment in our democracy.

Bridge Alliance

Bridge Alliance Members In The News:
Illinois Humanities - JournalStar
Generation Citizen - Red Dirt Report
Open Primaries - TheHill

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Democracy Fund Announcement

Posted by Bridge Alliance on June 26, 2017

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We are proud to announce that the Bridge Alliance Action Grant (formerly collective impact) program has recently received a grant from the Democracy Fund of $90,000 in support of three projects undertaken by Alliance members in which the Bridge Alliance plans to invest.

Betsy Wright Hawkings, Director of the Democracy Fund’s Governance Program, said, “This action-oriented grant to the Bridge Alliance will facilitate partnerships and collaboration between organizations working to promote more effective governance.  It will help alliance members build civility, bipartisan relationships and responsible governance at the state level. Together, the groups convened by Bridge Alliance aim to reduce polarization and promote good governance, starting at the state level and building up to Congress.” 

We are hopeful that this validation of our efforts from Democracy Fund, an organization who “invests in organizations to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people”, will catalyze our efforts to institute round 2 of Bridge Action Grants. 

We have learned much from the round 1 process consisting of 11 grants totaling about $600,000 to Bridge Alliance members.  From this knowledge base we hope to develop a methodology that enhances the impact of future Bridge Action Grants. 

We thank the Democracy Fund, and we thank all Bridge Alliance members for their support in helping us advance our mission to develop and grow the shared identity of the Bridge Alliance network, to strengthen our individual missions to revitalize democratic practice in America.

Bridge Alliance

Bridge Alliance Members In The News:
icitizen - Metro
National Institute for Civil Discourse - Tucson News Now
Centrist Project - 9News


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We want your best ideas!

Posted by Bridge Alliance on June 19, 2017

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Bridge Alliance is looking for a great tagline that summarizes what we all stand for. We thought who better to help us than our supporters. Please fill out this google form survey. You can vote for your favorite, or better yet, come up with one of your own. Thank you for your ongoing support. Your opinion matters to us.

Bridge Alliance

Bridge Alliance Members In The News:
Millennial Action Project - GQ
National Institute for Civil Discourse - McClatchy
Take Back Our Republic - Albuquerque Journal

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Colleges Educate. Students Vote. We Recognize.

Posted by Bridge Alliance on June 12, 2017

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Bridge Alliance member, ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is reclaiming the civic mission of higher education and helping create more active and informed citizens. Zaneeta Danver from The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge recently posted on Forbes.com.

"The ALL IN Challenge strives to change civic culture and institutionalize democratic engagement activities and programs on college campuses, making them a defining feature of campus life. Through this initiative, we recognize colleges and universities committed to improving democratic engagement, increasing student voter participation rates, and graduating civically active and informed students. In collaboration with this country’s colleges and universities, we seek to:
  • Make participation in local, state, and federal elections a social norm.
  • Substantially increase the number of college students who are democratically engaged on an ongoing basis—during and between elections, not just at the polls.
  • Make educating for democratic engagement on college campuses an accepted and expected part of the culture and curriculum so that students graduate with the knowledge, skills, behaviors, and values needed to be informed and active citizens.
Since our launch, more than 250 campuses in 40 states and Washington, D.C., have joined the ALL IN Challenge and committed to making democratic participation a core value."

We are proud to have the ALL IN Challenge as our member organization and hope you will support their amazing work. You can read the blog in full here.

Bridge Alliance

Bridge Alliance Members In The News
Millennial Action Project - News & Observer
National Institute for Civil Discourse - Daily Camera
Living Room Conversations - San Francisco Examiner

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Understanding the other side

Posted by Bridge Alliance on June 05, 2017

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Through Better Angels 15 politically diverse residents of southwest Ohio met for a total of 13 hours in an attempt to gain a better understanding of the "other side". On some issues they agreed to disagree and on other issues like paid parental leave they found considerable common ground. They found that they are less different and less hostile from one another than the media portrays. 

“We say unanimously that real people are more complicated and appealing than the stereotypes we have of them.”

Read more here to see the groups individual commitments, proposed group commitments, and proposed community-wide commitments. 

Bridge Alliance

Bridge Alliance Members In The News:
Essential Partners - Three Wise Guys Radio
TheChisel - PR Underground
Millennial Action Project - Florida Politics


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Member Accomplishments

Posted by Bridge Alliance on May 22, 2017

Friend - 

We recently asked our member organizations to let us know about some their accomplishments in the last year and their goals for the year ahead. We are thrilled to share with you what some had to say.

Congressional Management Foundation 
Conducted 57 training sessions for more than 250 congressional offices involving 1,180 congressional staff on topics including: management, writing, dealing with difficult constituents, conducting better meetings, etc.
Goals: Launch Democracy Awards (under a grant from Bridge Alliance), a new program to highlight innovation, customer service, and transparency in congressional offices.

iCivics 
In 2016, iCivics exceeded all expectations for growth and impact: 150,000 teachers across the United States use iCivics. Over 5 million students benefitted from our resources! And young people played our games 7.5 million times last year alone.
Goals: Our strategic goals for 2017 and the next 4 years are ambitious: we must expand our reach to 10 million students per year; deepen our impact on students' ties to literacy and civic engagement; build demand for good civic education at the state level; and develop models for financial sustainability.

Healthy Democracy
Implemented three Citizens' Initiatives reviews on statewide ballot measures in Oregon, Arizona and Massachusetts. Set up a CIR demonstration in California on one of the most expensive ballot measures in the state's history.
Goals: Continue national expansion of CIR to new states and local jurisdictions to implement in 2018. Offer a variety of skills-building and relationship-building programs to promote effective citizen engagement and deliberation. Partner with high schools to offer CIR model curriculum for civics education enhancement. Build out social media presence to enhance impact of CIRs in states without access to voter's guides.

We have received many responses to our survey and will continue to send out emails about them!

Bridge Alliance

Bridge Alliance Member In The News:
State Legislative Leaders Foundation - oanow.com
The Davenport Institute - patch.com
National Foundation for Women Legislators - The Signal


Nonpartisan Hygiene: 6 Tips to Stay Squeaky Clean

Posted by Bridge Alliance on May 15, 2017

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Bridge Alliance member Healthy Democracy, developer of the Citizens' Initiative Review, recently published Nonpartisan Hygiene: 6 Tips to Stay Squeaky Clean - and Effective. Healthy Democracy drew upon an internal audit of it's own activities and response plans to lay out six tips for organizations to preserve their nonpartisan credibility--the most valuable asset to a nonpartisan organization. This guide is designed for both nonpartisan and bipartisan groups, and should be of interest to many of our member organizations.
 

Bridge Alliance is inviting our audience to send us blog submissions and other items of interest for political bridge builders. We want to showcase innovative ideas and bolster organizations/individuals doing great work. Content is always appreciated!

Bridge Alliance

Bridge Alliance Members In The News:
Charter for Compassion - Commons News
Essential Partners - Cody Enterprise
Open Primaries - LA Progressive