BY A. LAWRENCE CHICKERING AND JAMES S. TURNER
We spoke this past week with David Nevins, the new President & Co-Director of Bridge Alliance (www.bridgealliance.us), a growing home for Transpartisans. He talked of leadership, spelled out the Bridge Alliance mission, and told us of the group’s first big Washington, DC public coming-out event.
The Mission: “We are the Bridge Alliance – a rising American tide of conservatives and liberals, centrists and moderates, business owners and workers, students and retired persons, diverse in age, color, faith and orientation. We have come together in civility, respect, and goodwill to solve problems together. Together, we can become a powerful and positive voice in the American political landscape advocating ‘Country Before Party.’”
The Event will feature the unveiling of Updraft America — an installation of 10,718 paper airplanes folded from a year’s subscription to The Congressional Record by Washington, DC sculptor Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg. The red and blue striped paper airplanes rise into the air, inspiring hope that we may rise above partisan politics.
A panel will discuss How To Bridge the Partisan Divide, presenting alternatives to the partisan narrative that permeates the political process and there will be presentations by organizations representing a cross-spectrum of civic engagement and collaborative problem-solving that is already present across America.
Leadership: David told us of The Nevins Democracy Leaders program he started at Penn State University. The program teaches a cohort of students how to apply Transpartisan deliberative skills to enhance their sense of civic responsibility, their approach to building community, and practical politics and participatory government. To further this goal, David is appealing to business leaders around the country to implement similar programs at their alma maters.
Bridge Alliance is well on its way to its first fifty organizational members. See the list here www.bridgealliance.us/bridge_alliance_members. It provides a home for individuals of every political stripe who want to get things done through collaborative initiatives that transcend narrow partisanship. We salute David Nevins and his co- director Debilyn Molineaux for their creative leadership of this inspiring initiative.