The Building Civic Bridges Act
Addressing Polarization and Division in the United States
Is it hard for you to talk politics with friends or family with different views? Have you ever felt judged because of your political beliefs? Are you concerned that the future of our democracy may be at risk because we are so divided?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. Most people believe that political divisiveness is the most serious problem we face as a nation and as individuals, and wish there was a way to change things, but don’t know how.
The good news is that there is actually a glimmer of hope. It’s a bi-partisan bill about to be introduced in Congress, called the Building Civic Bridges Act (BCBA). It will provide funding for programs that help get people talking again – the crucial first step toward dealing with the many challenges that affect us all.
And, there is a simple, important action you can take right now that will have a powerful impact, and it will take you less than 5 minutes. Simply use our advocacy tool to ask your congressional representatives to support the BCBA.
Imagine a world where we can have respectful conversations about politics, even with people we disagree with. Imagine a world where we can come together to solve problems and build a better future for everyone.
That’s the world that the Building Civic Bridges Act can help create.
Please take a moment to let your elected officials know that we must take steps to heal our divided nation by learning to talk and work together through programs that the Building Civic Bridges Act will support. It’s our best chance to create a more perfect union – a united and prosperous future for all.
And, to make sure your letter has maximum impact, write a sentence or two about WHY this matters to you personally.
Write your Congressional Representative
The Building Civic Bridges Act is a bipartisan bill that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives in March 2022. It is scheduled to be reintroduced in the House and Senate in the summer or fall of 2023. The bill would establish an Office of Civic Bridgebuilding within the AmeriCorps agency, which would be responsible for coordinating and supporting civic bridgebuilding programs across the country. Civic bridgebuilding programs are designed to help people from different backgrounds come together in dialogue, in order to address the challenges of political and social polarization. Learn more about the bill here.
The Building Civic Bridges Act would authorize $25 million per year for the Office of Civic Bridgebuilding. The office would be responsible for:
- Administering a competitive grant program to support civic bridgebuilding programs across the nation
- Supporting the training of AmeriCorps members in civic bridgebuilding skills and techniques
- Supporting research on civic bridgebuilding, civic engagement, and social cohesion
- Coordinating with other federal agencies and organizations that are working to address political and social polarization
The United States is facing a crisis of political and social polarization. People are increasingly divided along ideological, religious, racial, and economic lines. This polarization is making it difficult to address common challenges, such as climate change, economic inequality, and public health.
The Building Civic Bridges Act would provide much-needed support for civic bridgebuilding programs. This support would help to expand the reach of these programs and make them more accessible to people from all walks of life.
Bridgebuilding works by the simple act of bringing people together in processes that encourage active listening and respectful dialogue. With very little prompting, people quickly realize that they actually have a lot in common, despite their differing political beliefs. Civic bridgebuilding programs are proven to be effective in helping people from different backgrounds come together to have meaningful, productive conversations. These programs can help reduce polarization and build trust. By getting involved in the Building Civic Bridges Act, you can help to create a more inclusive and just society.
The Building Civic Bridges Act has strong bipartisan support. If passed, the bill will be a significant step forward in addressing the challenges of political and social polarization in the United States. For more information on the status of the BCBA, CLICK HERE.
There are over sixty organizations that have signed on as sponsors of the BCBA. For a list of organizations and individuals that support the Building Civic Bridges Act CLICK HERE.