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Elected Officials

Polarization at every level of our political system has created an atmosphere of chronic dysfunction, making it difficult for elected officials to serve their communities, constituents, and the nation. We believe that government officials have an important role to play in shifting that dynamic, locally and nationally. The National Week of Conversation invites current and former officials, staff members, organizers, and those active in our political system to join us as we work to bring about a transformation in the way Americans engage across differences of political identities, visions, and values.

Ways to Partner:

  1. Join an event April 17-23 and solicit your elected representatives (school board, city council, other municipal leaders, county leaders, state representatives, federal representatives) to participate along with you in a bridging exercise during NWoC. Use hashtag #ListenFirst to help promote the event on social media. View events here. 
  2. Write to your elected representatives and let them know why you value bipartisan cooperation over partisan animosity. Publish your statement and their response (if any) on social media. View a sample letter here. 
  3. Post on social media every day during NWoC to highlight a different book/article/video/film that inspired your bridging work. Tag your elected officials and ask them to read/watch and react to your inspirations. View a sample social media graphic here. 

Helpful Resources

  • Common Ground Scorecard
  • Action Button Voter Hub
  • Ballotpedia’s “Who Represents Me?”
  • “Tips for Contacting Elected Officials”
  • Voice of the People’s Online Policymaking Simulations: Online policymaking simulations put citizens in their elected officials’ shoes by simulating the process Members of Congress go through in making policy decisions–getting briefed, evaluating arguments, coming to decisions. Links to policymaking simulations can be disseminated to constituents so they can get informed and communicate their views on issues to Congressional offices. The content of the policymaking simulation, which is accessible to people with a high school education, is reviewed by expert proponents and opponents of the proposals to ensure that the briefings are accurate and balanced and the strongest arguments are being made. The University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation and Voice of the People have partnered to develop policy making simulations on over 300 legislative proposals before Congress. At the end of each policy making simulation, citizens can send their policy recommendations (with a personalized elaboration) directly to their Members of Congress.
  • Common Ground of the American People: To find out if common ground exists among the public, Voice of the People partnered with the Program for Public Consultation (PPC) at the University of Maryland to analyze and disseminate the findings of this major multi-year study of public views of federal policy proposals. The Common Ground of the American People project is developed using online public consultation surveys, in which respondents receive briefings on key policy proposals and evaluate pro and con arguments for each, only then making their recommendations. It has revealed 185 policy proposals – from a wide array of policy areas – that elicit support from majorities of both Republicans and Democrats.

See Who's Involved

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