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Exploring the intersection of civic engagement and civil discourse.

Exploring the intersection of civic engagement and civil discourse.
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United States


Exploring the intersection of civic engagement and civil discourse.




Ted Dintersmith

Human Potential Education should be a path for children to develop into self-directed, self-supporting, skill-equipped young adults. This may or may not include a college education, but will require high levels of critical thinking skills. Creativity and innovation will be an integral part of any job in the future. Standardized Tests and College Readiness The norm today is to teach what is easy to test, such as narrow arithmetic, instead of what’s important to learn. This turns the...


Ben Theodore

Local Politics The impact of individual and group efforts can be decisive in local political races, such as in the elections for a judge, a district leader, or in the State Assembly. Having one-on-one conversations about what is happening in our own community is powerful because we discuss the policy choices that directly affect our lives. Get Involved! Citizens are the players in politics. They have the opportunity and the responsibility to determine who is elected into office. When...


Robert P. Jones, Ph.D.

Voting People broadly agree that voter turnout should be higher and that voting should be easier, for example by making Election Day a holiday. Although everyone over age 30 is convinced that voting is a fundamental way to create change, only half of young people agree. Surprisingly, a quarter of Americans are unsure about the most fundamental requirement to be eligible for voting: you have to be a citizen. Demographic Changes America is no longer a majority white Christian country....


Max Feldman

The Powers of Voting Voting is our civic duty and our opportunity to participate in our democracy. We can hold our leaders accountable and also express what we believe this country can and should be. Voting means a lot to people in traditionally disenfranchised communities because it serves as an important expression of who we are as citizens. If it weren’t powerful, nobody would try to suppress our right to vote. Voter Suppression Strict voter ID laws, voter roll purges, early voting...


Cristóbal Alex

Political Power The proactive strategy of Latino Victory to build power through elections is a recipe for success. They focus on grooming and training candidates who represent their community’s values, empowering Latino voters, and developing a pipeline of Latino donors. The proof is in the pudding: great Latino candidates are exploding Latino turnout. Demographics Latinos represent 18% of the U.S. population and natural-born Latinos are the fastest part of demographic growth. Half of...


Phil Polakoff

Phil Polakoff is a physician with a distinguished career in public health and clinical medicine, the CEO of A Healthier We, and a consulting professor at Stanford University of Medicine. We discuss how an emphasis on prevention coupled with innovations in healthcare access and delivery can help us share greater health and equity for all Americans. Demand Better Healthcare Policies We need a more efficient and effective health delivery system that encompasses all of us. Follow political...


Ashley Allison

Census data supports communities Government and businesses rely on census data to provide the necessary services that make healthy and vibrant communities possible. The data reveals how many grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, or schools are needed, and even influence public transportation routes and budgets. An accurate and fair count will ensure that adequate resources are allocated. Undercounting and the citizenship question Asking whether the census participant is a citizen could...


Esther de Rothschild and Aicha Cherif

The power of love and relational organizing When people realize that their vote matters personally to others, they are more likely to show up and exercise this right. Ineligible voters, such as teenagers or formerly incarcerated people, can make an impact on elections by drawing attention to how election results concern them and move their network of eligible voters to show up at the polls. Amendment 4 There are over 1.4 million people who are disenfranchised for life in the US, most of...


Brian Miller

Brian Miller is the Executive Director of Nonprofit VOTE, an organization that partners with other nonprofits to integrate voter engagement into their ongoing activities. We discuss the importance of promoting voter registration to achieve full representation in excluded communities, and the benefits of a non-partisan, in person approach to do so. Nonvoting feedback loop The main reason people don’t vote is that nobody has reached out to them and asked them to vote. Furthermore, most...


Season 4 Trailer: Brian Miller

A sneak peek of the first episode of Season 4: Brian Miller makes a case for registering and voting. National Voter Registration Day is on September 25, 2018.


Pam Elam and Namita Luthra

Pam Elam and Namita Luthra serve on the Board of Directors of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Fund. Their Monumental Women campaign will bring the first statue commemorating real women to New York City’s Central Park in 2020. We discuss the importance of honoring women and their contributions to society in public spaces. Rethink history to shape the future Women and people of color have been largely left out of our nation’s narrative, instilling the impression that they...


Michael Faye

Michael Faye is the president and co-founder of GiveDirectly, an organization that sends cash directly to people living in extreme poverty. We discuss why we should use cash as a new benchmark for international aid, unpack false assumptions about decision-making, and examine the benefits of universal basic income. Prioritizing individual needs is effective Humans largely make creative and wise decisions for themselves and their families. Despite a common belief to the contrary, the poor...


Maria Yuan

Maria Yuan is the founder of Issue Voter, an organization whose mission is to make civic engagement accessible, efficient, and impactful. We talk about the importance of being informed on the bills before Congress, communicating your priorities and opinions to your representative, and understanding whether your rep is truly representing you. Our voice matters One of the benefits of living in a democracy is making our voices heard. In fact, representatives keep track of constituent contact...


Rachel Leyland and Dr. Kendra Abel

Rachel Leyland and Kendra Abel are public school teachers in Oklahoma City who participated in the walkout in April of 2018. We discuss how the walkout shed light on the problems caused by chronic underfunding of public education, the power of standing together to demand change, and the importance of supporting pro-education candidates for office. Support for Public Education Bolsters Democracy Chronic underfunding and continued cuts to public education have grave consequences. In...


Scott Warren

Scott Warren is the CEO and co-founder of Generation Citizen, an organization that works to ensure students in the United States receive an effective civics education. We talk about the unique power of political action to bring about change and the need to teach our youngest generations how to be active participants in our democracy. Political action is still king All of the important issues that affect our daily lives touch the government in some way. Politics is a powerful agent for...


Brent Wilkes

Brent Wilkes is the former CEO of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and a lifelong advocate for Latino rights. We discuss what fair and comprehensive immigration could be, the positive impact of immigrant labor in the US economy, and how we can demand sound immigration policy at the ballot box. Our economy depends on immigrant labor Immigrants are doing some of the hardest jobs in America for the lowest amount of pay, such as producing food, building houses, and...


Mark Hetfield

Mark Hetfield is the President and CEO of HIAS, the oldest refugee assistance organization in operation. We discuss our humanitarian obligations to refugees, the tremendous benefits that they bring to American society, and bust the misconceptions about the current refugee situation in the US. Taking refugees is an act of humanity: Refugees have escaped persecution, their country, their homes, and their jobs in order to survive. The Refugee Convention of 1951 is an international law that...


Paul Lagunes

Paul Lagunes is a Columbia University political scientist whose scholarship focuses on corruption in the Americas. His current book project is Corruption and Oversight: Insights from Field Experiments. We define corruption, discuss how it relates to democracy, and learn that voting is a tool to fight against it. Corruption is a contingent behavior In a world of multiple equilibriums, the rules of the game differ from place to place, thus it may be rational to engage in corruption in...


Ian Bremmer

Raise consciousness: Globalists have been willing to stand by while many people were left behind. Elites need to acknowledge their complicity in order to reverse the increasing division between us and them, as well as make clear to people in power that the current version of globalism is not acceptable. More experiments are necessary: The only effective way to tackle global issues is to start experimenting around possible solutions, each of us in the ways that we can. There are already...


Shafi Goldwasser

Shafi Goldwasser is an award-winning mathematician and computer scientist and the Director of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at UC Berkeley. Her most notable work is in cryptography and zero knowledge proof. We discuss the promise of cryptography to make our society more secure. Data privacy and you: Cryptography is the field that deals with the privacy and correctness of how our information is used. It makes our data more secure, with a range of tools such as encryption,...