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You Say You Want a Revolution. Well, You Know.

When I was deciding on the title of this Update, the first thing that came to mind was the Beatles’ song “Revolution.” That song was released in the late 1960’s, during a time of social and political confusion and upheaval. I think we can all agree that we are once again experiencing social and political confusion and upheaval. For me, all of this confusion naturally leads to the question “How does our nation get to the other side; to a better place than where we are today?" While no one can say what the answer is for sure, I’m seeing reasons to be hopeful. 

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A Visible Consensus (Pardon the Pun)

In researching what Bridge Alliance member organizations have been focused on lately, two themes emerged: Americans agree on a lot Videos and images are a good way to show that agreement Thus, we discovered there was a lot of visible consensus. For instance, RepresentUs got another assist from Hollywood; this time with Michael Douglas carrying the torch on behalf of the 87% (!!) of Americans who want their representatives to pass the American Anti-Corruption Act. Meanwhile, Convergence released its own video discussing how they build consensus among stakeholders with seemingly irreconcilable differences.

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#GivingTuesday is Over …. Long Live #GivingTuesday

Another #GivingTuesday is in the books. According to GivingTuesday.org, this charitable phenomenon generated nearly $2 billion in online and offline donations in the USA alone this year. And that’s incredible. Indeed, we are especially proud of #GivingTuesday’s impact given that Bridge Alliance member 92Y created the concept! That said, #GivingTuesday is just one day each year. It’s a very important day, but if our ultimate goal is healthy self-governance, we must work towards that goal year round. That doesn’t mean donating every day, but it does mean consistently thinking about what you can contribute and how you can be part of the solution.

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Happy Thanksgiving! Big News Coming on #GivingTuesday

It’s the holiday season again and #GivingTuesday is next week! Last year, 3.6 million donations were made to charities worldwide. This year, we are taking the opportunity to make a big announcement, so stay tuned! In the meantime, we hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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Our Blind Spot

In the constant busyness of our democracy revitalization movement, we spend quite a lot of time focusing on how to fix the endless problems of the world, and we’re happy to do so. It is important, however, to remember to take care of and reflect on ourselves. This ensures we’re the best representatives of this movement we care about so deeply. The Institute for Cultural Evolution has a new character exercise, which can help us identify how to become our best selves.

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Who Is This All For? (Hint: It’s for Them)

When friends ask me what I do for a living, I say that I work for an organization that is trying to help fix the country -- to achieve healthy self-governance. One of the common responses I get to this is “Ha! Good luck with that!” This response makes perfect sense to me. We are a long, long way from achieving healthy self-governance. While the members of the Bridge Alliance are making very real gains everyday to improve civic engagement, electoral system reform, and governance and policy making, the path to true healthy self-governance is most likely a generation away.   

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More Diversity, More Grassroots Connections for Bridge Alliance

This week, the Bridge Alliance Education Fund hosted our second Summit where Bridge Alliance members connect with others in the democracy field and explore opportunities to collaborate.  We kicked off the day with an inspiring message from team member, Shakira Mills, who reminded us why we do our work — to leave a better country and world for our children. Her new daughter, Kennedi, is three weeks old and made her democracy field debut.  We were then serenaded with two songs from the show Hamilton; “My Shot” and “In the Room Where it Happened.” We asked the participants to identify their own “shot” and to share their stories, their vision of America for the future. 

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Policy Making Isn’t Just For Legislators (Civic Engagement Update)

At the Bridge Alliance Education Fund, we tend to call this movement to revitalize the United States the “democracy movement” -- a reference to our nation’s form of government. This description, of course, isn’t as precise as it could be. We do not live in a pure democracy. Instead, we vote for representatives to enact and shape policy on our behalf. On the other hand, it is understood that representatives often take cues from their constituents. Therefore, having an informed citizenry that understands the policy making process is important for healthy self-governance in our country, regardless of how we label our form of government. (Technically, we live in a Federal Constitutional Republican Representative Democracy).

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Encourage Your Friends to #ListenFirst on #ListenFirstFriday

Featured Blog Post: Young people aren’t the problem with civic participation. We’re the solution. Sign up for The Fulcrum; nonpartisan news coverage of the democracy reform movement! Because you are a Bridge Alliance supporter, I suspect you’re pretty good at listening to and understanding different perspectives (which is different from agreeing!). After all, nearly ⅓ of the Bridge Alliance is dedicated to bridging ideological divides. But, if you’re like me, your social media timelines are filled with angry rants about current events -- which is understandable given the toxicity of today’s politics.

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