Common Ground Committee Holiday Voting Guide

Your Essential Guide to Civil Political Conversations this Holiday Season

Common Ground Committee Holiday Voting Guide

Around many dining tables this holiday season, there’ll be an extra guest in the room. The elephant, of course. Politics, and all the differing opinions about the tumultuous events of the past year.

We live in divisive times, and unfortunately, our difficulty reaching across the aisle can extend to reaching across the table. Whether or not your gatherings this year include extended relatives, conversations, even among immediate siblings, parents, and significant others, can cover a lot of rocky terrain over a long day and evening.

This year might seem a lot more fraught than most. But the same guidelines for civil conversations apply, even leaving room for constructive disagreement. Let’s have a look at the attributes of folks who seek to meet on common ground, rather than simmer in the far corners of the room.

Tap into the power of listening

The importance of listening in productive dialogue should not be underestimated. It’s through active listening that both parties feel heard and validated, which in turn enriches conversation and cuts unnecessary tension. Listening first this holiday season can help you make connections, find empathy, and put you in a better position for meaningful discussions around the dinner table. Without listening, it can be easy to get stuck in arguments and never reach common ground. In order to save more time for food and merriment, consider using the power of listening when engaging with family and friends this year.

Commit to seeking agreement rather than “winning”

It’s difficult to achieve a balanced conversation based on connecting with someone if you’re constantly formulating your next retort. You have to actively listen to their points, rather than crafting your own retaliation. You never know — you might even find yourself swayed a bit by their insights. You don’t have to aim to end the night by winning or losing and certainly not by compromising your principles. You just have to get to a civil place where you can agree to disagree and pass the cranberry sauce with a pleasant expression.

Remember it’s possible for good people to disagree

We all have very different backgrounds that make us who we are and have shaped the principles we hold firm. But different values and beliefs aren’t synonymous with good and bad. Very different formative experiences can create strong, fundamental differences. If you sense you aren’t going to be able to meet amicably in the middle with this person, perhaps it’s best to find a pivot to another aspect of the conversation.

Use facts, not emotion

Emotional arguments aren’t a great basis for a conversation, because if both people are speaking from the heart in heated opposition, it’s hard to arrive at the conclusion that it’s possible for good people to disagree. If you have good facts, figures, and statistics, open your toolbox and use them. But let the other person do the same — and if theirs are solid, acknowledge that, even if it doesn’t fit well with your narrative.

Bring down the temperature

If you find the conversation becoming too heated, do whatever you can to de-escalate a potentially hostile situation. Name-calling and tossing around stereotypes are indicators that things are traveling in the wrong direction. Don’t give in to the temptation to reciprocate with pejorative terms of your own. Storytelling is one way to grab attention — just make sure the takeaway is one of neutrality or learning something unexpected. And remember – family is always more important than politics.

Want more tips on healing the divide over Thanksgiving or any gathering? Watch our webinar “Ten Ways to Heal the Divide,” with Living Room Conversations founder Joan Blades and founder of Bridge USA, Manu Meel, moderated by Common Ground Committee co-founder, Bruce Bond.

Get ready for the holiday season by downloading Common Ground Committee’s “Essential Guide to Better Political Conversations this Holiday Season.”

Common Ground Committee Common Grounder Blog Across the Aisle

Across the Aisle

Common Ground Committee Common Grounder Blog Across the Aisle

On November 7, 2023, the ‘Across the Aisle’ forum, moderated by our Co-Founder and CFO, Erik Olsen, and hosted by Allstate, brought together political leaders from both sides of the aisle to engage in meaningful dialogue. At a time when divisions are deep, this event highlighted the importance of collaboration and consensus-building.

“Moderating the ‘Across the Aisle’ forum, I was heartened to see a dialogue that mirrors the mission of Common Ground Committee: to bridge divides. The constructive exchange between party representatives clearly demonstrated the progress we can achieve through collaborative effort.” – Erik Olsen

Representatives Troy Carter (D-LA) and Garret Graves (R-LA) were pivotal at the ‘Across the Aisle’ forum, showing how divergent political ideologies can find common ground. Their cooperative dialogue, tackling mutual concerns like coastal conservation, emphasized the forum’s objective to foster policy consensus that resonates with our collective values and bolsters our communities.

The ‘Across the Aisle’ forum didn’t just highlight the pressing priorities of Louisiana; it also underscored the enduring spirit of American collaboration. Such events carve paths for significant change, powered by shared values and a commitment to the common good.

i voted sticker 2024


i voted sticker 2024


At Common Ground Committee, our goal is to bring individuals together from all sides to bring light, not heat, to public discourse.  We also believe voting is every citizen’s right, responsibility, and privilege. 

We are here to help you through the voting process — from registering and finding your voting location (or learning how to vote remotely) to learning about the issues and the candidates. 

Get started now with the few easy steps below!

5 Easy Steps to Vote 

Each one of these steps is critical to making your opinion, voice, and vote count on election day.


Whatever your political preference, your right to vote gives you the chance to be heard and impact the direction of our country. According to data from the U.S. Census Data, in the 2022 midterm elections, 48 percent of voters did not fill out their ballots. Why? Many Americans don’t know enough about the registration and voting process or deadlines. Rock the Vote provides an easy link to start your registration in moments. Vote411 from the League of Women Voters Education Fund can also help you check your registration status, get registered, and find information about the issues.


In 2022, 31.9% of voters opted for mail-in ballots, a crucial alternative for those facing transportation challenges. For individuals with limited access to transit, understanding the mail-in ballot process is vital to ensure their ability to participate in the electoral process. If you aren’t requesting an absentee ballot, make sure you know where you can vote — and have a plan to get there. Despite the increase in absentee ballots, many still struggle with accessing transportation to the polls. Ride-share and volunteer transportation assistance are available nationwide to help seniors and others with mobility challenges get to the polls.


Before you cast your vote, make sure you’re informed about the candidates and their stances on today’s issues. Tools like BallotReady and Vote Smart help sort the information on thousands of politicians and the thousands of issues at stake. Common Ground Committee also has a unique tool, the Common Ground Scorecard, to rate politicians on how well they reach across the aisle to find common ground.


Some states require proof of identification to vote. Make sure you have the correct personal identification needed in your state (if any) to cast your ballot. 


Whether it’s your first time voting or you’ve exercised your right many times, making it a priority to get there is the most crucial step of all. You have a voice and privilege, so stand up for your beliefs. Races can be closer than you’d imagine — so just do it!

Resources for Informed Voting

A sign of a healthy democracy at work is an active network of advocates providing the tools for an educated population. Here are some of ours here in the U.S.


Ballotpedia is a non-profit organization that educates the public on current political issues, elections, candidates, and more. Whether you are considering running for office, contemplating your voting options, or looking for the latest news from an unbiased source, Ballotpedia is a tool committed to clarity and neutrality.

Instagram: @ballotpedia
Facebook: @Ballotpedia
Twitter: @ballotpedia


Looking for information on the latest candidates and elected officials? Vote Smart has profiles, voting records, contact information, issue positions, public statements, and more. One of its key features is the “Political Courage Test,” which offers unique transparency: insight into how likely candidates are to give straightforward answers to voters’ questions.

Facebook: @ProjectVoteSmart
Twitter: @VoteSmart

TOOL #3: VOTE411

Vote411 is a one-stop-shop for the information you need for the election process: the ability to check your registration status, register, find upcoming events, discover (and decipher) questions on your ballot, simplify steps for first-time voters, and more. An interactive state-by-state map is a hallmark of the site.

Instagram: @vote411
Facebook: @vote411
Twitter: @VOTE411


It’s critical for all citizens to participate in the political process; that’s the belief that drove the formation of When We All Vote. This nonpartisan non-profit organization was founded in 2018 by Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monae, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. Their ideology? That the country is in a better place and can move forward successfully when, you guessed it — we all vote.

Instagram: @whenweallvote
Facebook: @WhenWeAllVote
Twitter: @WhenWeAllVote


Let us be one of your trusted resources! The Common Ground Scorecard is your free online guide for identifying candidates seeking common ground to progress on the issues. Interactive features (such as a map) help you identify your elected officials (so you don’t have to look them up), making it easy to use. 

You can even compare up to six candidates.

Instagram: @commongroundcommittee
Facebook: @commongroundcommittee
Twitter: @commongroundcom


ActiVote’s easy-to-use nonpartisan app – learn more about the features – educates voters on important issues, when and where they can cast their vote, connects them with their elected officials, and allows them to make their voice heard by quickly answering key polling questions. Join voters in all 50 states, of all parties, and of all ages & join in on #DailyDemocracy. Try it on the web or mobile on GooglePlay or the Apple App Store.


Check back here for future updates on voting. Also, check out our ballot, and sign up for our newsletter for more resources to help you vote! 




Common Ground Committee co-founders Bruce Bond and Erik Olsen attended an invitation-only, bipartisan event on September 12, 2023, in Manchester, New Hampshire. The National Governors Association (NGA) held the event headed by Chair Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R). They joined other leaders in the bridge movement.

The event was the first in a series of bipartisan events to further the goals of Gov. Cox’s Disagree Better initiative to address toxic polarization in America. 

What is the National Governors Association and the Disagree Better Initiative?

Per the NGA website, “Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association is a bipartisan organization of governors of the 55 states, territories, and commonwealths whose mission is to share best practices, speak with an informed voice on national policy and develop innovative solutions to improve citizens’ lives through state government and support the principles of federalism.”

The Disagree Better initiative is a specific program aimed at promoting healthy debate.  They state, “The Disagree Better initiative will look at the problems of polarization, elevate the solutions that groups around the country are already implementing, and feature Governors showing what disagreeing better looks like. Through public debates, service projects, public service announcements, and various other tactics, Americans will see a more optimistic way of working through our problems.”

The NGA Disagree Better Event

The following governors attended:

Other attendees of the event include:

  • New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R)
  • Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D)
  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D)
  • Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee (D)
  • Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R)

Several bridge movement leaders attended as well.

Every year, the NGA Chair gets to select a particular issue and launch an initiative dedicated to solving it. Past NGA Chair initiatives have focused on issues such as youth mental health, computer science education in K-12 schools and infrastructure. Launched in July, Gov. Cox’s Disagree Better initiative seeks to address our nation’s toxic polarization and teach Americans how to have healthier disagreements.

The initiative recognizes that the “exhausted majority” of Americans are fed up with the level of incivility in our current political process and seeks to show the American people a “more positive and optimistic way of working through our problems” through a series of various bipartisan events.

Common Ground Committee applauds Gov. Cox and the NGA for their commitment to advocating for a healthier, more civil way of talking to one another to find common ground and move forward on the myriad of challenging issues facing our nation.

Building Bridges in Education – A Comprehensive Guide for Students’ Success and Growth

Your Essential Guide to Civil Conversations

In many educational environments, there’s no avoiding the mix of excitement and tension. New subjects, adapting to different teaching styles, and the contrasting approaches to studying and collaboration among peers. These experiences can become complex, especially when students, coming from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, must work together. It may feel more intricate and challenging than usual to find common ground and foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding.

But let’s remember the importance of civil dialogue, even when allowing for constructive disagreement. It’s about collaboratively seeking solutions, rather than taking up positions on opposing sides. Let’s look at those attributes that are useful for finding common ground, rather than simmering off in the far corners of the room.


We all carry personal beliefs, biases and opinions. As you approach a conversation, be aware of yours. Be willing to test them against new information and recognize when they may be closing your thought to what the other person is saying.


Approach discussion or debates with an objective of trying to find common ground and solutions, not win arguments. Use a “let’s work it out” attitude.


It’s hard to work with someone if you aren’t listening to them. It’s also difficult to engage in a dialogue until the other person knows you have heard them. Active listening establishes the foundation for real communication. It provides the opportunity for the “I never thought of it that way” moment.


Understanding the motives and intentions behind someone’s position is necessary to finding common ground. The challenge comes when we assume, often erroneously, that we know those motives and intentions because we have accepted commonly held beliefs about people who take that position. Don’t fall into that trap. Instead, ask the questions that clarify the person’s true motivation.


Rather than emotional arguments, bring verified facts to the conversation. If you are presented with verified facts, accept them, even when they don’t fit your narrative. It’s fine to examine them carefully and to see if something is missing, but don’t reject them dogmatically.


Don’t go into a discussion with predetermined expectations of the outcomes. Be prepared to be flexible and work to find an approach that addresses concerns of all parties (including yours). But don’t feel obligated to go along with something that you feel violates your principles. Be prepared to “agree to disagree.”


Because people have different experiences and viewpoints, they may not share your values. It’s not necessary to always agree on what’s important or why. But it is crucial not to equate a difference in values with whether a person is good or bad. Don’t let arguments divert you from appreciating your fellow person. If someone is unreasonably dogmatic in a way that violates your principles, it may be best not to engage.


Watch what you are saying and how you are saying it so that you don’t degrade the quality of the conversation. Eliminate pejoratives from your vocabulary. If your temperature starts to rise, take a breath and shift to a different line of discussion.


There are two points to be made here:

  • Name calling and personal attacks on groups and individuals are currently part of everyday political conversation. Don’t succumb to the temptation to use these methods.
  • Watch your own thinking. When you hear these types of attacks, don’t accept them. The more you do, the harder it will be to engage with others.


  • This is about controlling your thought and thereby your actions.
  • Be alert to everyone’s temperature. It may be best to shift to a different line of discussion or a totally different topic before people become angry with each other.
  • If you find yourself in a hostile situation, don’t contribute to the hostility. Identifying and expressing what you appreciate about the other person’s ideas and intent can help. As with attribute 7, don’t let arguments – even heated ones – divert you from appreciating your fellow person.

An Effective Scorecard for Political Accountability

This article originally appeared on FULCRUM.

Scorecards are typically a tool for measuring progress towards a particular goal. At Common Ground Committee (CGC) our goal is to reduce polarization. One of the ways to do that is to help increase the frequency of bipartisanship exhibited within our political leadership. Doing so creates overall favorable outcomes for our country and our democracy. We need to calm the waters if we are going to move forward to address the serious problems facing our nation.

Imagine if we could create a tool to assess how well elected officials have demonstrated a willingness to bridge the partisan divide; showing they can work cooperatively toward making progress, rather than posturing strength through stubbornness and absolutism. Imagine also that this tool could not only shine a light on the value of finding common ground but also keep politicians accountable. In doing so, it would incentivize their efforts toward finding more progress and reducing division.

That tool exists, and it’s gaining traction and relevance. It’s called The Common Ground Scorecard. This powerful tool assigns a score to each U.S. senator, representative, governor, and now – presidential candidate, based on their past decisions and actions.

The Common Ground Scorecard measures the degree to which elected officials and candidates for office embody the spirit and practice of a Common Grounder; that is, someone who seeks points of agreement and solutions on social and political issues through productive engagement. The Scorecard does not assess issue positions, ideology, or any other qualifications.

The Scorecard’s premise is that certain attributes are worth practicing, regardless of ideological or party leanings. These attributes include the willingness to put aside personal biases, seek solutions, listen to perspectives, accept facts, and be respectful of others with differing opinions. The Scorecard’s methodology tracks both the incumbents’ and challengers’ behavior, showing the degree to which a candidate publicly supports the importance of common ground and bipartisanship through their speech, action, and track record.

The basis of our government, as envisioned by the founding fathers, was predicated on the expectation that people would learn to compromise – not on principles but on tactics and strategies; that finding common ground would be central to our form of government. Through this process, the majority would set the stage for our legislative system, but the needs of all parties would be heard in debates and considered in outcomes. CGC recognizes that people may not agree on fundamental principles and values. Yet, a way forward almost always can be found but it requires cooperation, compromise, and common ground.

Partisan gridlock in government may seem like the norm these days. But that’s not the full story. Change is happening, right now. Many lawmakers and their staff agree that seeking common ground is the most effective and pragmatic approach to moving forward on critical issues facing the country, and they are concerned that more of it is not happening. As more and more elected officials are becoming aware of their scores, they want to see them rise. Now, they are coming to us and asking, “What can I do to improve my score?”

We meet with people in both political parties, and they’re excited that someone’s creating a platform that holds up bipartisanship as a desirable goal with tangible steps towards getting to a place of mutual respect, and progress. We are coming from an all-time low for political discord in our lifetime and need to rebuild the trust of the electorate. Voters are tired of ideological fights and the raincloud of rancor that hangs over the Hill. Our market research was designed to discover things that the electorate wants to see improved in the political landscape, and at the top of the list was, “Hold my elected officials accountable.” Voters want the behavior to have repercussions. They are tired of rhetoric, rancor, and gridlock. There’s a reason this demographic is called the exhausted majority.

An electorate coming off a pandemic deserves better than a toxic political environment. The Common Ground Scorecard provides political accountability that may be just what the doctor ordered.

Lawmakers Receptive to the Common Ground Scorecard

Common Ground Committee co-founder, Erik Olsen, journeyed to Washington, DC with a mission to reach out to legislators regarding the Common Ground Scorecard, a voting tool that measures how well an elected official seeks common ground.  The Scorecard does not assess ideology or positions on specific issues.

Erik was met with a very receptive audience. While partisan gridlock may seem like the norm, many lawmakers and their staff agree that seeking common ground is the most effective and pragmatic approach to moving forward on critical issues facing the country, and are concerned that more of it is not happening. His meetings included sessions with the staff of members of the Problem Solvers Caucus, as well as Democratic, Republican and Independent staff members, representatives and senators of the following offices as follows:

  • Rep. Colin Allred – D, Texas
  • Rep. Bilirakis – R, Fla.
  • Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. – R, Louisiana
  • Emmanuel Cleaver – D, Missouri
  • Rep. Angie Craig, D, Minn,
  • Rep. Debbie Dingell – D, Mich.
  • Rep. Dusty Johnson – R, S.D.
  • Rep. Derek Kilmer, D, Wash.
  • Rep Young Kim – R, Calif.
  • Rep. Mike Lawler – R, NY
  • Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, Independent, Arizona,
  • Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D VA, Representative
  • Sen. Jon Tester – D, Mont.
  • Rep. William Timmons – R, S.C.

The lawmakers expressed support and great interest for the Common Ground Scorecard. Erik notes, “The lawmakers I met with had great concern over polarization in Congress – in particular, the budget and potential for a government shut down this coming fall. The mood was noticeably less upbeat than on previous visits.”

Erik’s visit to the Hill was one of several Common Ground Committee initiatives to expand awareness of the Common Ground Scorecard and encourage elected officials to improve their scores and continue to seek common ground with their colleagues.

Common Ground Committee at the Points of Light Conference

Common Ground Committee CEO, Bruce Bond, moderated a panel of business leaders from Allstate, Fidelity Investments and National Healthcare Service Corporation at the Points of Light Conference held in Chicago from June 14th to 16th.  Business leaders were specifically interested in how to address polarization in the workplace. Many were not aware that a bridge movement exists.

Bruce shared data from Pew Research showing that while Americans on both sides believed the opposite party members to have dishonest and immoral traits, the news is not all bad. In reality, Americans are much more closely aligned on major issues such as immigration.

The big question of course was how to address these issues in the workplace.  Common Ground Committee’s Ten Attributes were a starting point for discussion.  Business leaders shared insights in the follow up discussion.

Here are a few key points that were shared:

  • If my corporate social responsibility team is all thinking alike on an issue, then we’re not thinking! We need to question our echo chambers.
  • Our challenge internally is to have better arguments to find better solutions that work to meet the objective.
  • One of our first internal rules to find common ground is taking winning off the table.
  • To decide if our company takes on an issue, we must be aligned with our company values, we must be clear how our stakeholders will benefit, we must know what we’re talking about, and decide if we can really make a difference or not.
  • As business leaders we must place relationships ahead of the task in order to find common ground.
  • The stakes are higher these days in business. We must listen. We must be very strategic and prepared when engaging on social issues. We must know our company DNA. Can we really move the ball?

For more in depth information on combatting polarization in the workforce, please visit, Common Ground Committee’s business portal and white paper, The Business Case for Civics Education.

CGC Trump Indictment Statement

News of the indictment of former President Donald Trump once again spotlights the current state of our politics. The concern is that we’ve become so polarized that many now see our nation’s once revered institutions as mere tools of the parties. 

The conversation — if we can call it that — taking place shows how we are constantly being pulled to either side by partisan forces who are just adding fuel to the polarization fire. And though we can acknowledge the skepticism or zealousness from either side, we must urge those engaging in this debate to identify and set aside their personal biases.

We ask our fellow Americans to not get drawn in by the conflict entrepreneurs on social media and on cable news shows. Instead, we hope citizens will resist the emotionally satisfying urge to join in the food fight. In that spirit, we also ask that our leaders curb their politically expedient temptation to get into the muck. More importantly, we staunchly condemn political violence and urge those who would use this as an opportunity to turn the fire into conflagration to stop and consider the cost of what would likely happen if violence were to break out. Lives lost, property and livelihoods destroyed, continual escalation. In that scenario, nobody wins. The country loses. 

Whatever your opinions of Mr. Trump or of the charges he faces, we must let the legal process take its course so that we might learn if the charges against him are merited. Otherwise, we are drawing conclusions about the case based on political ideology, which is exactly the mindset the Founding Fathers wanted citizens to avoid. “Innocent because the other party is out to get my guy” is not a sound legal principle. “Innocent until proven guilty” is, and that is why our legal system is based on it. The system is not perfect but its track record throughout our history shows it to be reliable in maintaining the rule of law (rather than persons) in America. This is key to keeping our nation strong. We acknowledge that the optics of the situation gives rise to the claim that there is a double standard between Mr. Trump and other political leaders whose actions have been deemed questionable. But we implore folks to let the arguments of the prosecution and the defense unfold before finalizing an opinion about fair treatment, guilt or innocence.

Our role at Common Ground Committee (CGC) is to neither be final arbiters nor passive witnesses. We do our best to be a voice that narrows divides rather than widens them. Our call for common ground and civility may sound naive, but perhaps that is because an open mind — not a cynical one  — is what this moment requires of us in order to rise above the fray rather than wade into it. Cooler heads must prevail and CGC’s mission is to remind our fellow Americans that finding common ground is a difficult but a worthwhile endeavor. It is at the heart of how our government was designed to work, and is the key to healing the “us vs. them” mindset that threatens to tear apart the social fabric of our country.

American Flag

House members embrace the Common Ground Scorecard

In late April, Common Ground Committee co-founders Bruce Bond and Erik Olsen spent a week visiting members of Congress to discuss our innovative Common Ground Scorecard, a unique tool for evaluating which elected officials and candidates have demonstrated a willingness, perhaps even a desire, to bridge the partisan divide in order to solve pressing issues facing our nation.

And we could not have been more pleased with the responses.

At every meeting, whether with lawmakers themselves or their top advisors, participants were excited about the potential for the scorecard to create an environment in which bipartisan policy-making is not only tolerated but encouraged. After all, that is what Americans want.

Recent polling, conducted jointly by Republican and Democratic polling firms, found that 67% of Republicans, 75% of Democrats and 75% of independents said it is very important for officials to be willing to compromise in order to achieve results. But that is not how Congress works.

And yet, there are lawmakers who are willing to try.

Common ground doesn’t belong to either party


Take, for example, Rep. Josh Gottheimer. The New Jersey Democrat is a founder and co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a collection of Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives who want to work together to develop policy solutions. Gottheimer scored a 70 the last time the scorecard was updated, making him a common ground “Champion” and one of the highest scorers in the House. His score is due to increase soon because, upon learning about the scorecard, he pledged to affirm the 10 Common Ground Commitments (also known as, our  ) that are a key element of the rankings.

In fact, we met with a half-dozen House members or their top aides and in every case the lawmaker pledged to affirm those commitments (except for those who had already done so).

The Common Ground Commitments are a series of statements that put politicians on record as willing to listen to opposing positions, acting in a positive, respectful manner, and welcoming honest debate. The 10 commitments are:

  • I will identify and set aside personal biases.
  • I will commit to seek agreement, progress, and solutions.
  • I will listen first to learn perspectives and experiences.
  • I will not assume, but seek to understand motives and intentions.
  • I will seek outcomes all can live with but not compromise principles.
  • I will accept that good people may disagree.
  • I will use and accept facts.
  • I will stay respectful.
  • I will resist demonizing.
  • I will de-escalate hostile situations.

Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina affirmed her adherence to the commitments during our meeting. Mace, who has become a bit of a media darling during her second term without taking extreme positions like some of her colleagues on the left and right, told us she loves the scorecard and is excited to see lawmakers getting public credit for their behavior.

In fact, we are working with Mace and Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois to arrange a joint appearance on an upcoming episode of our podcast. (Mace has the 12th highest score among House Republicans, and will move higher when we update the numbers. Krishnamoorthi ranks 13th among House Democrats.)

We need to keep the momentum going

We are shining the light on good things that are happening in politics, highlighting bipartisanship and cooperative work among members of Congress. And we will continue to do so but we cannot do it alone.

There are dozens and dozens of organizations dedicated to building bridges, but for change to happen on Capitol Hill, lawmakers need to embrace common ground concepts. We are grateful to those who have shown leadership on that front, often without realizing they were being recognized for their efforts.

Gottheimer’s Republican counterpart atop the Problem Solvers Caucus is Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, who has the third highest score in all of Congress. Together, those two lawmakers could bring about real change in Congress, by advancing their caucus’ work and engaging more members in the idea of finding common ground.

Similarly, more committees can embrace the work habits of the China panel and the now-defunct House Committee on the Modernization of Congress, both of which espoused common-ground ideals in the search of progress.

And we are grateful to the members of the media who share our passion for common ground activities. Take for example Julie Mason, a former White House correspondent who now hosts a show on Sirius XM’s POTUS Politics channel. Each week, Mason interviews a lawmaker who scores highly on our scorecard, shining a light on the good work those members are doing. In those interviews she explains she is talking to that lawmaker because of their Common Ground Scorecard score and, initially, asks the lawmaker to comment on it. Showcasing those often overlooked lawmakers is critical to improving the state of politics.

If more members of the media focused on those lawmakers, rather than the members who play to the fringes and suck up air time, we could see real change in Congress.