Transpartisan Bridge Alliance Enters Washington

Transpartisan Note #12

by A. Lawrence Chickering and James S. Turner

The Bridge Alliance, self-described “rising American tide of conservatives and liberals, centrists and moderates, … (that) can become a powerful and positive voice in the American political landscape advocating ‘Country Before Party,’” made its first appearance in the nation’s capital Thursday, September 15.

Cosponsoring an energetic Transpartisan gathering at American University’s Katzen Arts Center with Updraft America, the Alliance showcased its “43 and growing” member groups, brought its message of cooperative politics to a set of media players, and presented its vision in collaboration with a major American University.

The University describes the Updraft America Exhibition as “Washington, DC, sculptor (and former aide to Senate Democratic Majority leader Thomas Daschle) Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg (manifestation) of Americans’ frustration with our gridlocked partisan politics by taking an entire year of the official proceedings of the United States Congress, as documented in the Congressional Record, and folding each page into a paper airplane.

“From this mass of over 10,000 airplanes, striped red or blue to connote the political divide, the uppermost planes will rise into the air, as if taking flight, and as they do, their hues will combine to become purple – the color of hope that we may bridge the political divide.”

Hope animated the crowd as Ms. Firstenberg and media star & Washington-player Cokie Roberts cohosted the program’s two panels with Executive in Residence Rebecca Cooper of American University’s Kogod School of Business who works to create “thought leadership forums … to highlight smart conversations with smart people finding solutions.”

The Christian Science Monitor presented its new program Under-reported Good News stories.

The Congressional Management Foundation shared  “While the process may be slow, when people provide Congress with helpful input, Congress makes thoughtful, informed and deliberative decisions that represent an investment in the nation’s future.”

The Bridge Alliance’s entry to Washington reminds us that much goes on each day than our daily press skips. A lot of this unreported news is hopeful.

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