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April 12, 2021
3:00 PM (Eastern)

Are the Political Parties Too Weak, Too Strong...or Obsolete? A (historical) conversation with Mickey Edwards

Organizer: Open Primaries

Structural political reform is a booming topic of discussion, theorizing and action. And the question of "What's the role of political parties?" is hugely controversial within the reform arena. Some see stronger political parties as a key element of reform. Others think the parties have outsize control, even monopolistic power. Add to this a rising population of independent voters and it's a volatile mix!

Open Primaries President John Opdycke and former Republican Rep. Mickey Edwards are going to dive right into the hard questions regarding parties — including questions that were as relevant 100 years ago as they are today.

Location: Webinar

April 13, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (Eastern)

Exploring Electoral Innovation: Righting Electoral Dysfunction with Healthy Competition

Organizer: R Street Institute

In the wake of the 2020 election, many ideas have been proposed to reform the electoral process, and some have actually passed via ballot measure. In Alaska, the "Top-Four Ranked-Choice Voting and Campaign Finance Laws Initiative, implemented multiple reforms to the state's primary and general election processes. But will this initiative make much of a difference? How might we expect legislators' behavior to change in response? And just what is the intellectual foundation that underlies ranked-choice voting and nonpartisan primaries?

Join us as Jonathan Bydlak, head of R Street's Governance program, talks about the potentially significant changes set in motion by the initiative with Katherine Gehl, author of "The Politics Industry"and founder of The Institute for Political Innovation, and Scott Kendall, the creator of Alaska Ballot Measure 2.

Location: Webinar

April 13, 2021
8:00 PM - 9:00 PM (Eastern)

Citizen Engagement Forum: Money In Politics

Organizer: The People

Join an exploration and discussion of options and topics on our way to the National Assembly of the People.

Location: Webinar

April 14, 2021
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM (Eastern)

Finding Common Ground on the New Economy

Organization: Common Ground Committee

Millions of students will soon graduate into a workforce radically altered by the pandemic and changes in technology and energy. What is government's role in this new economy? Tune in as former Gov. John Kasich and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro — recent Republican and Democratic presidential candidates, respectively — bring diverse perspectives to the search for common ground. Register now for this thought-provoking virtual conversation hosted by Common Ground Committee in partnership with BridgeND, the University of Notre Dame and The Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy.

Location: Webinar

April 15, 2021
1:00 PM (Eastern)

How Political Institutions Shape Outcomes and How We Might Reform Them

Organizer: Library of Congress

In the U.S., political institutions are often seen as neutral, but in fact they reflect choices and compromises about how we balance between majority and minority interests. Panelists will look at the way different systems of electoral decision-making in a democracy can, by themselves, lead to very different outcomes, and what can be done to reform them in ways that result in more responsive and deliberative legislative bodies.

Location: Virtual

April 15, 2021
1:00 PM - 2:15 PM (Eastern)

What Americans Still Want from Reform

Organizer: New York University

Join the John Brademas Center for a conversation with Paul C. Light focused on his recent work in government reform. He will be joined by a distinguished group that includes Joe Davidson, columnist for The Washington Post, Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, E.J. Dionne, columnist for The Washington Post, and Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, nonresident senior fellow at The Brookings Institution. The conversation will be moderated by John Hudak, deputy director of the Center for Effective Public Management.

Location: Webinar

April 23, 2021
2:00 PM (Eastern)

2020 Census Update

Organizer: National Conference of State Legislatures

James Whitehorne, chief of the Census Bureau's Redistricting & Voting Rights Data Office will provide the latest census update for NCSL.

Location: Webinar

April 30, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (Eastern)

Backstage Pass: Behind the Scenes of Congressional Decision Making

Organizer: Congressional Management Foundation

Many Americans believe that lawmakers are unreachable – that they don't care about what constituents think and that influencing legislative outcomes is impossible and a waste of time. Yet CMF research shows that Members of Congress strongly believe that constituents are a valuable and informative resource in the decision-making process. Your "backstage pass" will dispel myths about Congress and provide practical strategies on how decisions are really made and by whom.

Location: Webinar

May 2-6, 2021

National Citizen Leadership Conference

Organizer: American Promise

The 2021 American Promise National Citizen Leadership Conference is going to be an energetic, inspiring and dynamic event full of engaging speakers like former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Rep. Jamie Raskin, Harvard Professor Danielle Allen and many more. The conference will also bring together citizen leaders from across the nation who are fighting to stop the big money system from completely taking over our democracy.

Location: Virtual

May 17-19, 2021

Urgency of Civility: A Springboard for Action

Organizer: The Urgency of Civility

The planning for the 2021 Urgency of Civility has already started! The 2021 Urgency of Civility conference will be May 17-19, 2021. Mark the date in your calendar.

The location of the 2021 conference will at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia. We will have one evening session at the US Capital Building, home of the US Congress in Washington D.C.

Location: George Washington Masonic National Memorial, 101 Callahan Dr., Alexandria, VA

May 21, 2021
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM (Eastern)

Introduction to Dialogue Across Differences

Organizer: Essential Partners

This one-day workshop uses real-world case studies to introduce participants to the theory and practice of EP's Reflective Structured Dialogue framework. For three decades, our unique approach has transformed conflicts across the country and the world—but the basic principles of EP's framework are applicable to local community issues, organizational development, congregations, and everyday conversations.

Intentional communication helps individuals, organizations, and communities build trust, enhance resilience, and engage in constructive conversations despite deeply-held differences of value, belief, opinion, or identity. This workshop provides a set of simple tools to achieve those goals.

Location: 186 Alewife Brook Pkwy, Suite 212, Cambridge, MA

June 2-11, 2021

2021 Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement Meeting

Organizers: American Democracy Project and NASPA

The 2021 Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement Meeting will facilitate exchanges of knowledge and develop a sense of community around our shared civic learning and democratic engagement work. The theme for CLDE21 is "Defining the Path Forward." The past year has created unique challenges for our institutions, students, and communities, and CLDE21 provides an opportunity to come together to reflect on the lessons learned and identify opportunities to help define our path forward.

Participants will have opportunities to network and develop their civic-minded thinking and practices through plenary sessions, special topic sessions, concurrent sessions, and civic cafes.

Location: Virtual

June 17-18, 2021
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM (Eastern)

Advanced Facilitation Skills Workshop

Organizer: Essential Partners

Anyone who leads meetings can be thrown off balance in difficult moments. The difficulty might be an unexpected tension among group members or challenges to the facilitator's legitimacy. As a facilitator, you avoid "deer in headlights" moments by developing the capacity to stay cool and think on your feet.

This workshop helps experienced facilitators navigate these delicate, confrontational, or explosive moments effectively, with purpose and poise. The curriculum leverages reflective practices and real-world scenarios to develop a facilitator's existing tools to meet the needs of the most challenging circumstances.

Location: Webinar

June 30, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (Eastern)

Grassroots’ Return on Investment: Turning Advocacy into $$$ for Your Network

Organizer: Congressional Management Foundation

Why do so many nonprofits, associations and companies have headquarters in Washington, DC or at least a Washington office? (Hint: this is not a trick question.) Obviously, these groups understand that decisions made in Washington can have a big impact on their members, agencies, employees, and their operations. This program will unpack results from CMF's survey of national advocacy groups and the government relations professionals who represent them, and will examine advocacy strategies that groups primarily invest in, why, and how much those strategies influence congressional decisions. The program also presents research on how advocacy departments can add value not just to an organization's legislative agenda, but to the financial bottom line of the group and its network.

Location: Webinar

Sept. 30, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (Eastern)

Stay-cation Advocacy: Building Relationships Back Home

Organizer: Congressional Management Foundation

Members of Congress often are harried and overbooked when in Washington. Interacting with lawmakers back home can be the best strategy to get "quality time" with key decision makers. In this session, participants will learn about who lawmakers listen to and why; the most effective tactics and strategies to use in the district or state; how to build long-term relationships with lawmakers and their staff; and the best opportunities for setting up meetings and events back home.

Location: Webinar

Nov. 18, 2021
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM (Eastern)

Introduction to Dialogue Across Differences

Organizer: Essential Partners

This one-day workshop uses real-world case studies to introduce participants to the theory and practice of EP's Reflective Structured Dialogue framework. For three decades, our unique approach has transformed conflicts across the country and the world—but the basic principles of EP's framework are applicable to local community issues, organizational development, congregations, and everyday conversations.

Intentional communication helps individuals, organizations, and communities build trust, enhance resilience, and engage in constructive conversations despite deeply-held differences of value, belief, opinion, or identity. This workshop provides a set of simple tools to achieve those goals.

Location: 186 Alewife Brook Pkwy, Suite 212, Cambridge, MA

Dec. 31, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (Eastern)

Using Research to Connect the Dots Between You and Your Lawmaker

Organizer: Congressional Management Foundation

Despite the narrative presented by Hollywood and the media, lawmakers are people too. Before being elected, they had careers, attended schools and universities, or volunteered in their community. This presentation will explore strategies for using research to connect the dots between issues advocates care about to those that their Members care about.

Location: Webinar