As life continues to evolve during the coronavirus outbreak, the Bridge Alliance Education Fund has created an online hub where democracy reformers can keep up with the latest news and resources. Its Covid-19 resource packet compiles information from various alliance members to help support the community during the pandemic.
The Bridge Alliance is a coalition of about 100 organizations spanning the ideological spectrum and working to improve aspects of American democracy.
While the novel coronavirus has upended life across the country, the democracy reform community is sounding determined to stay on course through an election year that could prove pivotal for its goals.
The rapid spread of Covid-19 has brought unprecedented challenge to lobbyists and advocates for all causes, including those working to fix the broken political system. Not only have logistics been jumbled and planned campaigns threatened, but the public and the nation's policymakers are now singularly focused on the pandemic and the economic collapse it's threatening — leaving almost no room for discussing any other national ills.
Highlighting how fix-the-system efforts are in limbo, one of the most prominent and best-financed advocacy groups, RepresentUs, planned to announce that its Unrig convention, scheduled to take place in eight weeks, would be postponed for at least several months.
At the same time, the infectious and potentially deadly virus is also scrambling the democracy reform agenda, with an optimistic coalition rapidly assembling behind what had been a second-tier cause: expanding access to the polls by making voting at home the American standard.
- Senators push vote-at-home in virus-related stimulus bill - The Fulcrum ›
- Congress won't legislate from home during coronavirus crisis - The ... ›
- Citing coronavirus, Senator proposes $500M for vote-at-home - The ... ›
- Coronavirus could lead to more voting by mail in primaries - The ... ›
- Vote now in 2nd round of Money in Politics reform bracket - The Fulcrum ›
- How well do you know your democracy reform vocabulary? - The Fulcrum ›
- Democracy reform groups tie their cause to racial protests - The Fulcrum ›
- Christina Harvey pushes spending for healthier, easier voting - The Fulcrum ›
- Overhaul of democracy would expand House, mandate voting - The Fulcrum ›
Nonprofits crowdsourcing civic engagement, introducing students to local politics and hosting coffeeshop listening sessions were among the five winners on Wednesday of the third annual American Civic Collaboration Awards, known as the Civvys.
The awards, established by the Bridge Alliance and Big Tent Nation two years ago, honor civic collaboration efforts that strengthen communities and empower citizens while bridging ideological divisions, partisan politics, narrow parochial interests and other gridlock-producing barriers.
This year's winners represent an eclectic brew of civic-minded groups chosen from a crowded field of deserving candidates, according to award organizers.
David Meyers/The Fulcrum
Blades is co-founder of Living Room Conversations, which organizes gatherings designed to increase understanding and reveal common ground.
Thought experiment: What if all the leaders in Washington decided tomorrow that climate change was the No. 1 issue to address? Evidence suggests this would not be as helpful as many people think. Consider health care, a No. 1 issue for decades. How does the U.S. health care system stack up? It is the most expensive in the world per capita and it isn't even in the top 10 in terms of outcomes. The fact is, importance isn't the determining variable for achieving success. We need to be able to work together.
Weaving the fabric of our democracy locally and nationally is a massive challenge. The people behind Living Room Conversations are meeting that challenge by offering an open-source project that can be used by mobile users at the beach as easily as in a living room or library.
Sometimes we worry that our name may confuse people. Living Room Conversations aren't limited by location, geography or time zone. They are happening every day in churches, libraries, schools, book stores, city community centers and virtual conference spaces. These six-person, structured conversations are designed to be self-directed, easily accessible, and welcoming to a broad array of perspectives. The structure includes conversation agreements that support comfort and safety.