The BLP is based on a one of its kind bipartisan training that combines how to win elections and how to serve in office. It is unusual to mix these two elements and to do so with people from different political parties in the same room. Plus, the mix of people are a diverse representation of society and in equal numbers of women/men, political views, mix of ages, urban, rural and an over sampling of people of color and under-represented. The diversity of participants who rarely, if ever, talk to each other, graduate with a new set of problem solving skills, a new ability and respect for listening to different opinions and a new set of friendships that produce wonderful cross partisan cooperation when they are in public office.
Proof of success is in the stories of bipartisan cooperation that abound from the more than 600 graduates of the Michigan Political Leadership Program.
65% of the graduates have become elected or appointed to high positions:
Secretary of State, 56 in State Government positions, 27 State Legislators-including Speaker and committee chairs, 97 Mayors and City Commissioners, 81 County Officials, 82 School Boards, 56 Township Officials, State Director of Mental Health, State Superintendent of Education, 9 University Board of Trustee, 4 Tribal Government Chairman, Various Commissions, Campaign Managers and Political Party Leaders, Heads of Local and National Public Policy Causes, Campaigns, and more.
While most of us are partisans and we want our political views and candidates to win, we intuitively understand that elected officials should work together toward a common good and they are not! Fighting over everything doesn’t produce good government or good policy. We believe our political system can be fixed when we reach a critical mass of leaders who understand the power of inclusion and collaboration. That is why our goal is to train at least 6,000 candidates every five years to govern in a bipartisan spirit.
Our democracy will be stronger when elected officials know how to get beyond win-lose arguments on every issue. A little know program in Michigan, the MPLP, has shown that even very partisan adults can learn skills and appreciation for working together between parties. That is why we want to replicate the MPLP in other states and nationally. We know it changes lives and enables government to work. The only training candidates are getting now is how to win. Where can people learn how to serve in a bipartisan spirit? Ask yourself, why are corporations spending billions to train leadership skills and team building. In government we spend nothing, and it shows.
The BLP Board has an ambitious game changing agenda. Reaching the goals is totally dependent on funding from serious minded citizens who understand the need for a substantive, on-going program to make our governmental bodies more effective. Giving campaign contributions to your favorite candidates and party are important. Contributing to this program will make them better candidates, more effective once they are elected and give us hope for the future.
Government will function best when leaders recognize we are an interdependent society and that we do better when we work together. If you agree with these goals, you have found a home to support your values for a better tomorrow. We invite you to support the Bipartisan Leadership Project. Contributions to the BLP may be tax deductible for individuals and corporations.
”Elected officials do not have power, they hold power.”
”In the long history of humankind, those who learn to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”
”More than ever, our society needs to restore our high standards of civil discourse and applied ethics.”
”Sandra Day O’Connor set the standard for bipartisanship by putting country above party and self-interest and worked collaboratively to solve problems.”