The Bridge Alliance community is fortifying our country against authoritarian threats
Becvar is the Executive Director of the Bridge Alliance Education Fund, which houses The Fulcrum.
Recently, the American Values Coalition and The Horizons Project drew our attention to an important report published by Protect Democracy called “The Authoritarian Playbook for 2025.” Although the initial impression was grim, as I delved further into this report and explored the wealth of resources generated by our community, I was struck by the powerful strategies it offered to counter authoritarian threats. Today, I’m excited to share how we, as a community, are applying some of these strategies.
Uniting early: The power of pro-democracy coalitions
The Bridge Alliance stands as a testament to the strength found in unity. Our work alongside numerous vibrant pro-democracy coalitions is ongoing and resonant. The collaborative venture in mapping America’s Healthy Democracy Ecosystem is a significant stride in understanding how over 10,000 organizations can interlink, bolstering each other’s efforts. The Protect Democracy report underscores the critical need for time and commitment to build these alliances – a foundation many have nurtured for years.
The diversity of our coalitions will be critical to engaging citizens and encouraging them to respond to the threats we face in 2024. More Perfect just released a poll on Americans’ views on the state of democracy. Among other indicators, the survey revealed an empowerment gap: While a large majority say it is important for individuals like themselves to get involved and take action to improve our democracy, less than half believe there is a lot or a fair amount that they personally can do. One of the core beliefs of our Citizen Connect initiative holds that citizens are the core of our democracy, and giving each person opportunities to engage civically in the way that fits their ability and desire is the key to increasing that participation and action. Again, this foundation has been built, and now we have an opportunity to scale up our outreach and offerings as a community to help close that empowerment gap.
Combating anti-democratic narratives
As public communicators, it is our duty to explain the significance of the battle for democracy and its stakes. There are wonderful examples of this type of communication from both our bridging coalitions and our reform coalitions in the national media last week. Bridging movement leader Kristin Hansen published a beautiful piece in USA Today that highlights the importance of recognizing each other as the fabric of our democracy. Campaign watchdogs are collectively demanding election transparency, and citizen advocates are speaking out independently. The Fulcrum continues to amplify stories from diverse aspects of the ecosystem and works to ensure these stories are carried further into numerous publications throughout the country.
Championing bipartisan guardians of democracy
Issue One’s ongoing “Faces of Democracy” series profiles individuals who go beyond partisan boundaries to uphold democratic foundations. IO recently highlighted Wesley Wilcox, a Florida Republican and an expert in election technology. Wilcox has been president of the Florida Supervisors of Elections Association, a board member of the National Association of Election Officials, and chair of the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center.
The series recognizes and acknowledges the crucial role played by over 10,000 officials managing U.S. elections and reinforces the importance of supporting these champions of democracy.
Eyes on the horizon: Securing 2026 and beyond while building tomorrow’s democracy
The Protect Democracy report concludes by emphasizing that while the immediate urgency of 2024 is important, it should not overshadow the long-term vision of fostering a resilient and inclusive democracy. This vision encompasses strengthening our checks and balances, reforming electoral systems and political parties for greater representation and resilience against authoritarianism, empowering historically marginalized voices, bridging divides, and enhancing civic engagement. Each week, I am energized by witnessing not only that these areas are being supported by organizations within our community in the abstract — but the work is ongoing in concrete ways and increasingly collaboratively.
Let's continue to build on this momentum and strive for a future where democracy not only survives but thrives for generations to come. Together, we're not just responding to today's challenges; we're shaping tomorrow's triumphs.