Transpartisan Alliance News
Transpartisan Alliance News
Joseph McCormick 12/09
Dear Citizen Leader:
These are the questions the Transpartisan Alliance team has been asking national leaders of grassroots groups across the spectrum like MoveOn.org, a progressive advocacy organization, and FreedomWorks, a catalyst of the limited government tea parties — see 6 min. video — as well as local leaders around the country.
This fall the Campaign to Unite U S began planting seeds in Portland, Seattle, Fresno, and the Florida Keys for an alternative to win-lose politics. These house parties and conversation café town halls were an open invitation to an open source, open minded, open hearted, open space conversation about our political future.
The outcomes of these initial efforts were:
– Refinement of a concise set of tools for civil dialogue called the Transpartisan Toolbox — listening to understand, recognizing judgments, managing emotional triggers, the art of inquiry, and speaking to be heard.
– Prototype of a three hour meeting format where participants are lead into a sobering inquiry about the cost of polarization followed by a more up-beat inquiry into the possibility of facilitating political cooperation in their own community.
– Planting of seeds for the creation of 12 to 15 member Citizen Leader Councils consisting of people with social networks that span their entire community.
– Planting of seeds for the engagement of diverse community networks in the creation of local Citizen Assemblies – informal institutions of citizenship that support official decision makers with win-win policy options that 80% plus of people can say “Yes!” to.
Much groundwork has been laid toward this strategy of political culture shift (going back to the leadership retreats of Reuniting America.) There is much, much more to do, however, to take this important bridging/healing/reconciliation/empowerment work to the next level.
Over the course of the winter, I will be spending time writing a book to serve as a manifesto. It’s tentatively entitled The Upwising: The Story of the Emerging Transpartisan Movement in American Politics. Filmmaker Peter Hwosch who has been documenting the work of Reuniting America and the Transpartisan Alliance since April 2006 will be raising funds for a feature length companion film to this book. He will also be working with Amanda (Hydro) Roman to finalize an eight week dialogue guide called “The Transpartisan Toolbox” to help Citizen Leader Councils deepen their skills at engaging constructively across community divides.
In addition, team member Walt Roberts will be organizing an online Transpartisan Alliance membership drive around a “Transpartisan Pledge,” as well as a “Conference of Conferences” in early 2011 with co-sponsors from national dialogue organizations as well as political associations from the left, right, and center (this event may evolve into the Second American Citizens Summit.) Debilyn Molineaux will be working with Walt on the membership drive, supporting the team with fundraising and coordinating the next phases of the Campaign to Unite U S.
The Transpartisan Alliance is at a critical juncture. We have a dedicated team that has been working for almost a year on a volunteer basis. We have developed and prototyped a truly innovative approach to building political cooperation. If you are in a position to help, your donation will allow us to take our next vital steps.
Many blessings for a happy and peaceful holiday season.
Core Team Member