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

Posted by on November 14, 2019 at 4:56 PM

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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.   

So, if transformational changes are not likely to happen any time soon, why am I dedicated to the work I do? Because one day, like my colleague Shakira, I’m hoping to have a child. And as Shakira (with baby) said during her introductory video for this year’s Bridge Alliance Summit, “The work we are doing is mainly going to affect my daughter’s generation.” In other words, it’s for them. If we can leave our children and grandchildren with a healthier nation, every second we devote to this movement will have been worth it. And while I cannot say for sure that the work of myself and my colleagues will prove successful in the short term, I can say with certainty that, if no one tries, healthy self-governance will never be realized. 

With all that said, figuring out the path forward won’t be easy. For example, as a nation we are facing rapidly rising healthcare costs and a rapidly rising deficit at the same time. Some politicians say we can address the healthcare crisis with Medicare for All, and pay for it through increased taxes. Setting aside the policy debate, could this work? According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) …. Yes, in theory. CRFB released a preliminary analysis on how we could theoretically finance Medicare for All.

The media’s reaction to CRFB’s report was predictably partisan. Some outlets claimed it showed the plan would essentially destroy the economy, while other outlets claimed it showed middle class savings in the long run. So how does one sort through the contradictory takes and misinformation? To start with, I recommend visiting AllSides.com, where readers can learn what biases different media outlets bring to the table and get the full story by hearing what the Left, Right, and Center have to say (your fellow Americans agree!).

Thus, we have a long, uncertain road ahead of us. But Bridge Alliance member organizations are working hard to help us navigate that road so that, one day, we can leave our children and grandchildren with a nation characterized by its “healthy self-governance.”

As always, thank you for your support.


Bridge Alliance Education Fund


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Bridge Alliance Members in the News:

Voice of the People; Better Angels; Common Ground Solutions - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle - Here's a way to tell Congress what we're really thinking

Bridge the Divide; Living Room Conversations; Better Angels - The Atlantic - Can Marriage Counseling Save America?

Money in State Politics - Law360 - Dark Money Raises Stakes For 2020 Judicial Races