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'When it comes to politics and cultural issues, the internet is broken'

AllSides CEO & co-founder John Gable explains how AllSides fights online polarization and filter bubbles for Reunited States' Everyday Heroes series.

Everyday Heroes profiles civic pioneers across the USA who are creating novel solutions to polarization. It's a companion series to The Reunited States, an acclaimed feature documentary executive produced by Van Jones and Meghan McCain. The film follows everyday Americans seeking to bridge our political and racial divides. The Reunited States is available on Amazon, iTunes and everywhere On Demand.

EVERYDAY HEROES: John Gable, AllSides Co-Founder www.youtube.com

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Courtesy Millennial Action Project

MAP founder Steven Olikara (left) stepped down from the top job earlier this year. Layla Zaidane has been named the new CEO.

Millennial Action Project and its founder begin new chapters

Growing up in Milwaukee, Steven Olikara felt that playing music was the only way to bring people of all backgrounds and ideologies together — until he was inspired to launch the Millennial Action Project.

Believing the trend toward polarization had put American democracy on perilous footing, Olikara decided to translate his musical performances into political involvement on a national scale. In 2013, he officially launched MAP with the hopes that the next generation could bridge the political divide and put America on the right path forward.

Now, after nearly a decade at the helm, Olikara has stepped down as both he and the organization enter new chapters. On Wednesday, the organization announced as his successor Layla Zaidane, who previously served as MAP's executive director and COO. As for Olikara's next steps, the 31-year-old has his sights set on a potential Senate run next year when Republican Ron Johnson's seat is up for election.

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Report: Few Americans have a say in most congressional elections

Despite record-high turnout in last year's general election, a new report found that a majority of congressional elections in 2020 were determined by only a small number of voters due to the widely used partisan primary system.

Unite America, which released "The Primary Problem" on Tuesday, found that just 10 percent of voters cast ballots in primaries that ultimately decided the winners of 83 percent of House seats. These "safe" seats are in districts that are reliably retained by the same party in nearly every election, so the real competition is not in the general election but in the primary.

The resulting problem, the report concludes, is high re-election rates for members of Congress, even though most voters don't feel adequately represented by their elected officials or approve of the job they are doing. Unite America's solution: Adopt open and nonpartisan primaries.

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Racial and political inequity focus of new report on democracy's woes

With American democracy in decline, a new report urges that reforms addressing racial and political inequities are sorely needed.

For the first time in nearly 15 years, Freedom House released on Tuesday an in-depth report analyzing America's flawed democracy and what fixes are needed. This analysis comes on the heels of the nonpartisan research organization's annual report, in which it found the United States was part of a worldwide decline in freedom.

This downward trend in American democracy, according to Freedom House, accelerated during Donald Trump's presidency and ultimately amounted to an acute crisis when insurrectionists stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.

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