June 17, 2019
Do you think American politics can be fixed? More and more people say no, believing the system is broken and there is no hope. We the undersigned believe there is hope and that we must do everything possible to fix it and save our democracy. We have learned from a bipartisan political leadership training at Michigan State University that Republicans and Democrats can learn to change their attitudes about working together. The results are extremely positive as they make government work in real life.
Over 650 political activists have participated in 10-weekend bipartisan political leadership trainings that have produced amazing results with 65% of the graduates getting elected to public office and working across party lines when in office. The program integrates an equal number of women and men, Republicans and Democrats. An over representation of people of color, along with a mix of ages, occupations, urban and rural are included. The training combines leadership team building, learning to be a winning candidate and preparation to serve in office. The graduates develop skills to work with people holding opposing views. They develop the ability to overcome racial, gender, religious and political issue conflicts and emerge with lasting relationships. This doesn’t mean they agree on everything, but the program results demonstrate that fiercely partisan people can get beyond politics and work for a common good with this innovative training.
You may be asking yourself, is this possible? And, if so, how do we get more of this? You can get more. We have created the Bipartisan Leadership Project (BLP) to replicate this Michigan State program in other states and create a national political leadership center in Washington, DC. The university model works well, and the good news is that we have universities willing to host such a program. However, we must prove to them that people like you are willing to help fund a program to educate political leaders.
Through contributions from the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), Winston Strawn law firm and valued friends, we already have seed funders and now need your help to raise $150,000 in this next round. We will need more, but this amount will show universities interested in hosting the BLP that a wide variety of people will give to this type of program. Your donation will enable the Bipartisan Leadership Project to launch an expanded fundraising campaign. In today’s age of social media and crowd funding we believe significant numbers of people will express their despair by contributing to the education of a new generation of political leaders. Once the Project is known, corporations, foundations and wealthy individuals will want to make substantial contributions.
Successful businesses and non-profits learned years ago that investing in training people how to work with each other and learn effective leadership skills pays big rewards. The Michigan program proves it works in politics. When you make a campaign contribution, you help your candidate get elected. A Bipartisan Leadership Project contribution will make all candidates better.
There is no single solution to the governmental dysfunction we witness every day, but this is an idea that is worthy of your support. The BLP mission is to educate people before they run for office on how to conduct a responsible campaign and how to effectively govern. The BLP program will inspire thousands of people to learn basic skills to work effectively within governmental bodies that by design of our Founders are structured to have broad representation and thus division and controversy. The challenge is not to avoid conflict, but to be equipped to manage conflict constructively with civility meaning more dialogue and less angry monologue.
You can learn more about the Bipartisan Leadership Project and how to make a donation by clicking on this website link: https://bipartisanleadership.org/ or sending a check to: Bipartisan Leadership Project, 4232 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22302. The BLP is an IRS approved 501 (c) (3).
Can American politics be fixed? Absolutely! Living proof exist everyday with the over 100 mayors, over 30 state legislators, hundreds more who graduated from the Michigan State program who serve on school boards, county commissions and city councils, university trustees and the current Secretary of State. These graduates are prime examples of what we want from all elected officials and graduates who are not serving in office but influence a spirit of collaboration in government and civility in their spheres of influence.
So, don’t give up. There are so many exciting possibilities to create a great future and generate opportunities to fulfill our dreams when we have governments with elected representatives working together for our common good. Please do your part with a contribution and help fix politics in America. Together we will make a difference.
The Bipartisan Leadership Project Board of Directors:
Bob Mitchell, Anne Mervenne, Dick Schubert, Tom Martin and Lee Cowen
Bipartisan Leadership Project
4232 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22302