The Bipartisan Leadership Project (BLP)
National and State Programs
Programs will be based on the successful Michigan Political Leadership Program (MPLP) created 26 years ago and hosted by Michigan State University. Like the more than 650 partisan adults in Michigan, BLP graduates will have learned over several weekends: 1. Skills unique to bipartisan leadership and decision making, 2. Political policy analysis, 3. Successful personal communication and 4. How to be a candidate and run a responsible campaign that wins.
The BLP is a Non-Profit 501 (C) (3) created with the goal to replicate state by state the hugely successful Michigan Political Leadership Program (MPLP) created to get new people prepared to run and not only win public office, but prepared to be an effective public policy collaborator. The MPLP is still achieving its goals at Michigan State University. 65% of the graduates get elected and almost all serve the public in the political/governmental arena.
The BLP is creating an advanced national program patterned on the successful state model for Congressional staffers, candidates and office holders who seek a deeper understanding and development of collaboration skills.
Two Reasons This Works:
People Diversity: The BLP participants are a salad bowl of backgrounds representing diversity in society; an equal number of women and men and partisans, all ages and backgrounds, urban/suburban/rural, underrepresented and people of color. This diversity is key to producing great results. The participants experience close interactions with people with whom they do not normally engage. The tensions between strangers, the excitement from diversity and partisan competitiveness creates a dynamic, stressful and effective learning experience. It is fantastic to experience the tension that turn into positive transitions individually and between participants. Early in the training, participants learn how to listen, how to engage in constructive dialog, gain skills in collaboration to reach higher ground and not just compromise for the sake of moving on. Participants experiencing relationships with people holding totally different views, beliefs and values without fighting and finding new friendships is powerful. It is this type of life changing experience that enables graduates of this program to be effective in working across the aisle when elected to Congress, state legislatures, city, county and school boards without compromising values. Think about a governor, mayor or President entering office having learned these collaborative leadership skills and values.
Combination of Running and Serving: There are excellent seminars on leadership or communication and public policy schools including several partisan/special interest candidate campaign trainings. All of these are valuable but putting all four learning elements together is a special element producing personal growth. Learning in a bipartisan environment adds a dimension rarely if ever available. The BLP training equips the graduate to be a super candidate that will run a winning campaign. A campaign that ethically raises money, models respect and engages the public and opponent in a bipartisan spirit. BLP graduates demonstrate they are ready to be effective in office. It works-big time!