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James Carville and Reince Priebus Find Common Ground on Democracy Post-Midterms

The veteran Democratic and Republican strategists chart a path forward for good governance at USC

Sherman, CT, November 18, 2022 – Yesterday Common Ground Committee (CGC), a nonpartisan, citizen-led nonprofit dedicated to reducing polarization, held their latest public forum — Finding Common Ground on the State of our Democracy — that brought together political icon James Carville and former White House Chief of Staff (2017) and Republican National Committee Chair (2011-2017) Reince Priebus at the University of Southern California. The two discussed the steps to good governance after a contentious election cycle. The event was moderated by Bob Shrum, Director of the Dornsife Center for the Political Future at USC, CGC’s primary partner in the event.

The forum was CGC’s second in-person event of the year, following a discussion on guns between Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and former Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX) at George Washington University.

“With the midterms behind us, it’s time for Democrats and Republicans to put the vitriol of the campaign trail behind them and work together to get the work of the people done,” said Bruce Bond, Co-Founder and CEO of Common Ground Committee. “Throughout the discussion, Carville and Priebus outlined sensible steps both sides can take to bring progress back to Washington.”

Over the course of the evening, Carville and Priebus discussed the outcome of the midterms and how liberals and conservatives can work together to strengthen our democracy. Specific points of common ground found during the evening include:

  • Both Democrats and Republicans benefit from vibrant, competitive primaries.
  • The perception of a do-nothing Congress is influenced by the constant drumbeat of negativity. From infrastructure to marriage equality, there has actually been a lot of common ground found.
  • Dark, secret money in politics has a corrosive effect and we must do something to limit its impact.

After a surprising midterm, Carville said that Americans yearn for new, young leadership. “You cannot tell me there aren’t enough people under the age of 75 in this country to run this country,” Carville said. “I think this country is just clamoring for new leadership. You can’t do this job in your 80s.”

Both speakers agreed that the media has a vested interest in promoting division. “If you’re dividing you’re in. You can see it with people writing books after leaving the White House,” Priebus explained. “The books that sell are those who’re slinging mud. Why? Because dividing sells.”

For interview requests, please contact Zach Halper at zhalper@momentum-cg.com or 862-224-3233

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About Common Ground Committee
Common Ground Committee (CGC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) citizen-led organization dedicated to bringing healing to the national challenges of polarization and incivility. Since its founding in 2009, CGC has held 19 public forums featuring panelists who have reached over 250 points of consensus. Panelists have included such notable pairings as John Kerry and Condoleezza Rice, Chris Murphy and Will Hurd, David Petraeus and Susan Rice, Michael Steele and Donna Brazile, Chris Wallace and Maggie Haberman, and Larry Kudlow and Barney Frank, exploring issues ranging from race and income inequality to foreign policy. CGC produces the Let’s Find Common Ground podcast series, which has had over 200,000 downloads and over 100,000 subscribers. CGC also created the Common Ground Scorecard, a voting tool that scores politicians and candidates for public office on their likelihood to find common ground with the opposite party. Free of political agenda and financial influence, CGC has a singular focus on bringing light, not heat, to public discourse.

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Common Ground Committee Hosts Political Veterans James Carville and Reince Priebus for a Discussion on Strengthening Democracy

Conversation addressing solutions to find common ground and strengthen our model of governance.

Sherman, CT, November 4, 2022 – Common Ground Committee (CGC), a nonpartisan, citizen-led nonprofit dedicated to reducing polarization, announced today their upcoming free in-person event on strengthening democracy, in partnership with the Dornsife Center for the Political Future at the University of Southern California. Political icon James Carville will be joined by former White House Chief of Staff (2017) and Republican National Committee Chair (2011-2017) Reince Priebus for a discussion moderated by Bob Shrum, Director of the Dornsife Center for the Political Future at USC. The conversation, about how to strengthen democracy, will be held at the USC Town and Gown at the University of Southern California on November 17, from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm PST. Tickets are free and can be reserved here to attend in person. Additionally, the event will be live streamed and webinar reservations can be found here.

“Regardless of what one may think is the most effective way to strengthen our democracy, progress is stifled in the absence of dialogue and collaboration,” said Bruce Bond, Co-Founder and CEO of CGC, “As has been the case with all of our events we are confident those who attend will leave inspired and hopeful that further progress can be made on this serious issue.”

James Carville is a Democratic strategist who contributes to CNN’s The Situation Room and was formerly the co-host of Crossfire, CNN’s political debate program. As a fundraiser for the Democratic Party, Carville remains active in politics. His consulting firm, Carville & Begala, helped elect President Bill Clinton in 1992, making Carville a national political figure. In 1993, he was named Campaign Manager of the Year by the American Association of Political Consultants and later served as a senior political adviser to the president.

Reince Priebus is serving as the president of the law firm Michael Best & Friedrich LLP. Before joining Michael Best, Priebus was named White House Chief of Staff shortly after the 2016 Presidential campaign and formally served as the longest-serving chairman of the Republican National Committee in modern history. He oversaw a dramatic turnaround of the RNC, rescuing its finances, repairing its operations, and rebuilding its ground game while raising over one billion dollars. Priebus built the infrastructure needed for landslide GOP victories and was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in both 2016 and 2017.

This is CGC’s second in-person event of the year, and 19th overall, following a conversation on guns with Sen. Chris Murphy and former Congressman Will Hurd in September.

James Carville and Reince Priebus will be available for interviews following the event. For interview requests, please contact Zach Halper at zhalper@momentum-cg.com or 862-224-3233

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About Common Ground Committee
Common Ground Committee (CGC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) citizen-led organization dedicated to bringing healing to the national challenges of polarization and incivility. Since its founding in 2009, CGC has held 18 public forums featuring panelists who have reached over 250 points of consensus. Panelists have included such notable pairings as John Kerry and Condoleezza Rice, Chris Murphy and Will Hurd, David Petraeus and Susan Rice, Michael Steele and Donna Brazile, Chris Wallace and Maggie Haberman, and Larry Kudlow and Barney Frank, exploring issues ranging from race and income inequality to foreign policy. CGC produces the Let’s Find Common Ground podcast series, which has had over 200 thousand downloads and over 100 thousand subscribers. CGC also created the Common Ground Scorecard, a voting tool that scores politicians and candidates for public office on their likelihood to find common ground with the opposite party. Free of political agenda and financial influence, CGC has a singular focus on bringing light, not heat, to public discourse.

American Flags and Buttons for Voting

Common Ground Committee and ActiVote Launch New Partnership to Help Voters Prepare for the Polls

The nonpartisan app will now feature the Common Ground Scorecard, which scores politicians’ capacity to work across the aisle

Wilton, CT, October 20, 2022Common Ground Committee, Inc. (CGC) and ActiVote are partnering to help voters make informed decisions this election season. Common Ground Committee is a nonpartisan, citizen-led organization devoted to healing polarization and improving public discourse in politics, using tools like the Common Ground Scorecard. The Scorecard is the first-ever model to assess the degree to which elected public officials and candidates for office are likely to seek points of agreement on social and political issues and rank them from 0 to 100 points. Bonus Points above 100 can be earned for championing common ground, and a negative score can be earned for personal demonizing. ActiVote, a nonpartisan app that educates voters on important issues and connects them to their polling sites, will now feature the Scorecard data on their platform, giving voters insight into candidates who engage in the work of finding common ground and making bipartisan progress.

This partnership comes at a perfect time as voters prepare for the Midterms this November. The Common Ground Scorecard allows voters to assess their representatives’ bipartisan performance through a scoring system using aggregated data from the Luger Index, GovTrack, the Bipartisan Policy Center, and other publicly available data sources. This partnership ensures voters have the information they need to confidently vote in every election, regardless of where their views lie on the political spectrum.

“As we head towards a critical election cycle, it’s become increasingly clear that partisanship is getting in the way of solutions to the very real issues facing our nation,” said Bruce Bond, co-founder, and CEO of Common Ground Committee. “Our hope is that the Scorecard will be a tool Americans will use to help them choose who they will vote for in the 2022 midterms.”

“We are thrilled to introduce the Common Ground Scorecard to ActiVote users,” said Sara Gifford, a Co-Founder of ActiVote. “Our goal is that voters find information that helps them cast an informed vote, no matter their politics. The Common Ground Scorecard gives another piece of information to voters about how officials are working and communicating with others.”

Common Ground Committee does not endorse political candidates. The organization’s only goal in providing the Common Ground Scorecard is to provide voters with an objective, up-to-date and easy-to-understand tool to discover how likely their elected officials or candidates for public office are to work with the opposite party to find common ground.

In order for voters to make informed decisions in November, both Common Ground Committee and ActiVote are dedicated to depolarizing political discourse and educating voters. Thanks to this partnership, ActiVote users now have access to crucial information to help them cast their votes.

For interview requests, please contact Zachary Halper at zhalper@momentum-cg.com or 862-224-3233

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About Common Ground Committee
Common Ground Committee (CGC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) citizen-led organization dedicated to bringing healing to the national challenges of polarization and incivility. Besides the Common Ground Scorecard, since its founding in 2009, CGC has held 18 public forums featuring panelists who have reached over 250 points of consensus. Panelists have included such notable pairings as John Kerry and Condoleezza Rice, David Petraeus and Susan Rice, Michael Steele and Donna Brazile, Chris Wallace and Maggie Haberman, and Larry Kudlow and Barney Frank, exploring issues ranging from race and income inequality to foreign policy. CGC produces the “Let’s Find Common Ground” podcast series, which has had over 200 thousand downloads and more than 100 thousand subscribers. Free of political agenda and financial influence, CGC has a singular focus on bringing light, not heat, to public discourse.

About ActiVote
ActiVote is a nonpartisan app that is changing the way citizens engage with their government. ActiVote seeks to educate 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 helping users build their civic habits, better assess the electoral field, learn about policy, elected officials, and legislation, as well as empower and inspire both themselves and others, ActiVote helps voters be more engaged participants in our democracy.

SEN. Chris Murphy and former Congressman Will Hurd Find Common Ground on Guns

The Democrat and Republican find common sense solutions at George Washington University to reduce gun violence

Wilton, CT, September 28, 2022 – Last night Common Ground Committee (CGC), a nonpartisan, citizen-led nonprofit dedicated to reducing polarization, held their latest public forum – Finding CommonGround on Guns – that brought together Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), who spearheaded the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, and former U.S. Representative (R-TX), ex-CIA officer and author of American Reboot: An Idealist’s Guide to Getting Big Things Done, Will Hurd. The two engaged in a debate over the ongoing gun violence in the country, and how to find a path towards common good on guns. Former CBS News Correspondent and author Jacqueline Adams moderated the conversation.

The forum was CGC’s first in-person event since February 2020, a discussion on the media between ChrisWallace and Maggie Haberman, and was presented in partnership with the BridgeUSA’s GW (BridgeGW) chapter and the Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service.

“As we approach another critical election cycle, gun violence remains a top issue among voters,” said Bruce Bond, Co-Founder and CEO of Common Ground Committee. “Last night, Senator Murphy and former Congressman Hurd reminded us that, no matter the outcome of the election, common ground solutions can be found to keep our communities safe. Their message was clear – we can and must continue to work together to identify and implement those solutions. People’s lives depend on it.”

Over the course of the evening, Senator Murphy and Congressman Hurd discussed why voters remain sharply divided on guns even after the most significant federal legislation in 30 years, and where hope remains for future action. Specific points of common ground found during the evening included:

  • More “good guys with guns” is not the solution to further gun violence. We need solutions like raising the minimum age to 21 and universal background checks.
  • There is no conflict between the need to protect private legitimate gun ownership and regulation so that people who shouldn’t have these weapons don’t get them.
  • The best way to ensure common sense gun laws get passed is to vote in primaries. If that happens we will begin to see more change in DC.

During the event, Senator Murphy discussed the politics of gun policy, and how Democrats and Republicans found consensus over firearms after Uvalde. “The reason we found common ground this summer is because Americans had enough,” said Senator Murphy. “Uvalde happened and a week later we went back to our districts and our states for our Memorial Day recess. Members of the Senate went home and saw a sense of a panic from families and kids they had never seen before.”

Answering a question about the Second Amendment, Congressman Hurd warned that the heated rhetoric over gun policy can be a barrier to solutions. “I believe in the plain language of the Second Amendment,” said Congressman Hurd. “If you had asked whether our kids should go to school and get shot, you would get a different response. That is why we have to change the words we use to talk about these issues. When you start with an issue that we can agree on, then we can begin talking about the problems we disagree on.”

For interview requests, please contact Zach Halper at zhalper@momentum-cg.com or 862-224-3233

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About Common Ground Committee
Common Ground Committee (CGC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) citizen-led organization dedicated to bringing healing to the national challenges of polarization and incivility. Since its founding in 2009, CGC has held 17 public forums featuring panelists who have reached over 250 points of consensus. Panelists have included such notable pairings as John Kerry and Condoleezza Rice, David Petraeus and Susan Rice, Michael Steele and Donna Brazile, Chris Wallace and Maggie Haberman, and Larry Kudlow and Barney Frank, exploring issues ranging from race and income inequality to foreign policy. CGC produces the “Let’s Find Common Ground” podcast series, which has had over 175 thousand downloads and more than 60 thousand subscribers. CGC also created the Common Ground Scorecard, a voting tool that scores politicians and candidates for public office on their likelihood to find common ground with the opposite party. Free of political agenda and financial influence, CGC has a singular focus on bringing light, not heat, to public discourse.

Senator Chris Murphy & Former Congressman Will Hurd on Guns

Common Ground Committee Hosts Senator Chris Murphy and Former Congressman Will Hurd for a Discussion on Guns

Conversation addressing solutions for the ongoing problem of gun violence will be the nonprofit’s first in-person event since 2020

Wilton, CT, September 7, 2022 – Common Ground Committee (CGC), a nonpartisan, citizen-led nonprofit dedicated to reducing polarization, announced today their upcoming free event on the politics of guns. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) will be joined by Will Hurd, former U.S. Representative (R-TX), CIA officer and author of American Reboot: An Idealist’s Guide to Getting Big Things Done, for a discussion moderated by former CBS News Correspondent and author Jacqueline Adams. The conversation, about how to address the important questions of gun legislation and gun rights, will be held at the Jack Morton Auditorium at George Washington University on September 27, from 6:30 pm to 8 pm ET. Tickets can be reserved here.

Both these individuals are important voices in this debate. Chris Murphy became a leader in the effort to control gun violence when, as a U.S. Representative, his district faced the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Ten years later, in the wake of the mass shooting on May 24 in Uvalde, Texas, now Senator Murphy led the effort to write and pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act — the first major federal gun legislation enacted since 1994. When Will Hurd was serving in the House, his district included Uvalde. While getting an “A” from the National Rifle Association, he has aggressively spoken out about the need to find solutions to gun violence while preserving the rights of law-abiding gun owners. As the 2022 midterms approach, guns remain an ”extremely important” issue on the ballot.

“Regardless of what one might believe is the right policy, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act proved that common ground can be found even on a divisive issue such as guns,” said Bruce Bond, Co-Founder and CEO of CGC. “As has been the case with all of our events we believe Americans who attend this one will leave inspired and hopeful that further progress can be made on this serious issue.”

This will mark CGC’s first in-person event since February, 2020, a discussion on the media with Chris Wallace and Maggie Haberman, and is presented in partnership with the BridgeUSA’s GW chapter and the Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service.

Sen. Murphy and former Congressman Hurd will be available for interviews following the event. For interview requests, please contact Zach Halper at zhalper@momentum-cg.com or 862-224-3233

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About Common Ground Committee
Common Ground Committee (CGC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) citizen-led organization dedicated to bringing healing to the national challenges of polarization and incivility. Since its founding in 2009, CGC has held 17 public forums featuring panelists who have reached over 250 points of consensus. Panelists have included such notable pairings as John Kerry and Condoleezza Rice, David Petraeus and Susan Rice, Michael Steele and Donna Brazile, Chris Wallace and Maggie Haberman, and Larry Kudlow and Barney Frank, exploring issues ranging from race and income inequality to foreign policy. CGC produces the “Let’s Find Common Ground” podcast series, which has had over 175 thousand downloads and more than 60 thousand subscribers. CGC also created the Common Ground Scorecard, a voting tool that scores politicians and candidates for public office on their likelihood to find common ground with the opposite party. Free of political agenda and financial influence, CGC has a singular focus on bringing light, not heat, to public discourse.

About BridgeUSA

BridgeUSA is a youth-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that creates spaces on high school and college campuses for open discussion between students about political issues. It began in 2016 at the universities of Notre Dame, CU-Boulder, and UC Berkeley in response to growing polarization on campus. BridgeUSA’s work emphasizes the importance of empathy and understanding, ideological diversity and solution-oriented politics. By engaging America’s youth in constructive discussions, BridgeUSA are equipping the next generation of leaders with the skills necessary for navigating conflict, finding solutions across differences and building bridges in their communities. BridgeUSA is currently located on over 50 college campuses and 24 high school campuses in the U.S.

About Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service

The mission of the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service is to integrate civic engagement into George Washington University’s educational work. The center promotes equity and active citizenship in a diverse democracy, focuses GW’s resources to address community needs through reciprocal partnerships beyond the campus, and enhances teaching, learning, and scholarship at GW.

Common Ground Scorecard Rates Politicians’ Commitment to Seek Agreement on Issues That Matter to Voters

The voter assistance tool scores politicians’ success at working across the aisle and celebrates average increase across House and Senate

Wilton, CT, July 13, 2022Common Ground Committee, Inc (CGC), a nonpartisan, citizen-led organization devoted to healing polarization and improving public discourse in politics, has updated politicians’ rankings in the Common Ground Scorecard. The scorecard is the first-ever model to assess the degree to which elected public officials and candidates for office seek points of agreement on social and political issues through listening and productive conversation, ranking politicians up to a maximum of 110 points, using aggregated data from the Lugar Index, GovTrack, the Bipartisan Policy Center and other data sources. Additional points can be earned via commitments to finding common ground going forward, or deducted for personal demonizing.

Voters will head to the polls this November amidst unprecedented challenges. This landscape necessitates a tool to help Americans see which candidates are most committed to working across the aisle to solve these issues. Using the Common Ground Scorecard, voters can search for public officials by name, state, or office held. They can also search using their own zip code to get a list of the officials that will appear on their ballots. They can see how those representatives have performed on finding common ground and making bipartisan progress.

“As we head towards a critical election cycle, it’s become increasingly clear that partisanship is getting in the way of solutions to the very real issues facing our nation,” said Bruce Bond, co-founder and CEO of Common Ground Committee. “Our hope is that the Scorecard will be a tool Americans will use to help them choose who they will vote for in the 2022 midterms.”

The highest-profile politicians have been scored. The average score is 29, the same as 2021 and up from 26 in 2020. Notable scores are as follows:

  • President Joe Biden, 45/110, up from 43/110 in 2020
  • Vice President Kamala Harris, 20/110, unchanged from 2020
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 0/110, down from 29/110 in 2020
  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 37/110, up from 36/110 in 2020
  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, 30/110, up from 29/110 in 2020
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 32/110, up from 29/110 in 2020

Highest scoring lawmakers are:

  • Representative Don Bacon (R NE-2), 104/110
  • Representative Dean Phillips (D MN-3), 104/110
  • Representative Gus Bilirakis (R FL-12), 100/110
  • Representative Antonio Delgado (D NY-19), 100/110
  • Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R PA-1), 100/110
  • Representative Abigail Spanberger (D VA-7), 100/110
  • Governor Spencer Cox, (R UT), 99/110
  • Representative Derek Kilmer (D WA-6), 97/110
  • Representative Elissa Slotkin (D MI-8), 97/100)
  • Representative Fred Upton (R MI-6), 97/110
  • Representative Ed Case (D HI-1), 92/110
  • Representative John Katko (R NY-24), 90/110
  • Representative Elaine Luria (D VA-2), 90/110
  • Representative David Trone (D MD-6), 90/110
  • Senator Joe Machin (D WV), 83/110
  • Representative Charlie Crist (D FL-13), 83/110
  • Representative Anthony Gonzalez (R OH-16), 83/110
  • Representative Young Kim (R CA-39), 83/110
  • Representative Dutch Ruppersberger (D MD-2), 83/110
  • Representative Joyce Beatty (D OH-3), 82/110
  • Senator Maggie Hassan (D NH), 80/110

This video provides a short walkthrough of the scorecard and how to use it. A summary of the highest and lowest scorers can be found here. The most improved lawmakers since 2020 are:

  • Representative Elissa Slotkin (D MI-8), 97/110, up from 42/110 in 2020
  • Representative Young Kim (R CA-39), 83/110, up from 59/110 in 2021 (no score in 2020)
  • Representative Peter Meijer (R MI-3), 76/110, up from 24/110 in 2021 (no score in 2020)
  • Representative William Timmons (R SC-4), 52/110, up from 0/110 in 2020
  • Governor Roy Cooper (D NC), 47/110, up from 34/110 in 2020

Common Ground Committee does not endorse political candidates. The organization’s only goal in providing the Common Ground Scorecard is to provide voters with an objective, up-to-date and easy-to-understand tool to discover how likely their elected officials or candidates for public office are to work with the opposite party to find common ground.

For interview requests, please contact Zachary Halper at zhalper@momentum-cg.com or 862-224-3233

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About Common Ground Committee
Common Ground Committee (CGC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)3 citizen-led organization dedicated to fostering more progress and less division in politics. Since its founding in 2009, CGC has held 17 public forums featuring panelists who have reached over 200 points of consensus. Panelists have included such notable pairings as John Kerry and Condoleezza Rice, David Petraeus and Susan Rice, Michael Steele and Donna Brazile, and Larry Kudlow and Barney Frank, exploring issues ranging from race and income inequality to foreign policy. CGC produces the “Let’s Find Common Ground” podcast series, which has had over 100 thousand downloads. CGC created the Common Ground Scorecard, a voting tool that scores politicians and candidates for public office on their likelihood to find common ground with the opposite party. Free of political agenda and financial influence, CGC has a singular focus on bringing light, not heat, to public disc

92ny’s Newmark Civic Life Series

Common Ground Committee and 92NY’s Newmark Civic Life Series Co-Presents Panel On Election Reform

Former party chairpersons Donna Brazile and Michael Steele explored ways to find common ground on election reform in a free online conversation moderated by Jacqueline Adams

Wilton, CT, June 7, 2022 – Common Ground Committee (CGC), a nonpartisan, citizen-led nonprofit dedicated to reducing polarization, and 92NY’s Newmark Civic Life Series, an initiative to educate and galvanize audiences around pro-democracy efforts, hosted a virtual event on election reform. Former Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile and former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele came together for this free online discussion exploring ways to find common ground on elections and election reform. This special conversation was moderated by former CBS News Correspondent and author, Jacqueline Adams. Donna Brazile and Michael Steele found agreement on topics including:

  • That democracy and access to voting should be seen by all Americans as a point of pride in our country — “we the people” all get to have our say
  • We must take the redistricting process out of the hands of elected officials and into those of everyday citizens
  • Voting shouldn’t be a partisan issue, where each side hopes the other side’s supporters won’t vote. Instead, both sides should hope all Americans vote, and prioritize convincing voters of their platform

You can find highlight quotes from the event here, and the full recording of the event here.

This was Donna Brazile and Michael Steele’s second event for Common Ground Committee. Their previous Common Ground conversation was in 2018, about finding consensus about the government’s role in bridging racial divides.

“At a time when division is at an all-time high and with the midterm elections approaching, we desperately need to find common ground on elections and rebuild Americans’ faith in our democratic systems,” said Bruce Bond, co-founder, and CEO of CGC. “We are grateful that Michael and Donna took the time to share their expertise with us all. We hope attendees saw how often they agreed despite strong philosophical differences on key issues such as voter ID and HR 1, and that we will all advocate, along with Donna and Michael, for an approach that is secure, inclusive, and reflects how important it is for citizens to vote.”

The virtual event was co-presented by the Newmark Civic Life Series, which is a part of 92NY’s Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact, and Common Ground Committee, whose mission it is to bring healing to the challenges of incivility and polarization in American politics. It was hosted by the 92nd Street Y, New York.

Following the event, participants were also invited to join the effort to combat polarization by signing up for the Unify Challenge, a guided video conversation with another American who may vote differently, encouraging all of us to help close our national divide. This will occur on June 15 at 7PM ET and is a part of the nonprofit grassroots organization, Unify America. Those interested can register here: https://www.unifyamerica.org/92ny

Donna Brazile and Michael Steele are both available for interviews following the event. For interview requests, please contact Emily Cooper at ecooper@momentum-cg.com or 212-671-2086

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About Common Ground Committee
Common Ground Committee (CGC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)3 citizen-led organization dedicated to fostering more progress and less division in politics. Since its founding in 2009, CGC has held 16 public forums featuring panelists who have reached over 200 points of consensus. Panelists have included such notable pairings as John Kerry and Condoleezza Rice, David Petraeus and Susan Rice, Michael Steele and Donna Brazile, and Larry Kudlow and Barney Frank, exploring issues ranging from race and income inequality to foreign policy. CGC produces the “Let’s Find Common Ground” podcast series, which has had over 100 thousand downloads. CGC also created the Common Ground Scorecard, a voting tool that scores politicians and candidates for public office on their likelihood to find common ground with the opposite party. Free of political agenda and financial influence, CGC has a singular focus on bringing light, not heat, to public discourse.

About The 92nd Street Y, New York
The 92nd Street Y, New York (92NY) is a world-class center for the arts and innovation, a convener of ideas, and an incubator for creativity. 92NY offers extensive classes, courses and events online including live concerts, talks and master classes; fitness classes for all ages; 250+ art classes, and parenting workshops for new moms and dads. The 92nd Street Y, New York is transforming the way people share ideas and translate them into action all over the world. All of 92NY’s programming is built on a foundation of Jewish values, including the capacity of civil dialogue to change minds; the potential of education and the arts to change lives; and a commitment to welcoming and serving people of all ages, races, religions, and ethnicities. For more information, visit www.92NY.org.

Common Ground Committee and 92NY’s Newmark Civic Life Series Co-Presents Panel on Election Reform

Former party chairpersons Donna Brazile and Michael Steele explore ways to find common ground on election reform in a free online conversation moderated by Jacqueline Adams

Wilton, CT, May 20, 2022 – Common Ground Committee (CGC), a nonpartisan, citizen-led nonprofit dedicated to reducing polarization, and 92NY’s Newmark Civic Life Series, an initiative to educate and galvanize audiences around pro-democracy efforts, announced their upcoming, free event on election reform. Former Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile and former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele will come together for this free online talk exploring ways to find common ground on elections. This special conversation will be guided by former CBS News Correspondent and author, Jacqueline Adams. To attend this free event on June 7 at 7:30 pm ET, please sign up online here.

This is Donna Brazile and Michael Steele’s second event for Common Ground Committee. They last had a Common Ground conversation in 2018, finding consensus about the government’s role in bridging racial divides.

“At a time when division is at an all-time high and with the midterm elections approaching, we desperately need to find common ground on elections and rebuild Americans’ faith in our democratic systems,” said Bruce Bond, co-founder and CEO of CGC. “We are grateful that Michael and Donna are taking the time to share their expertise with us all. By the end of the evening, we hope attendees will see where there is agreement from the left and right on election reform, and that we will all be able to advocate for a less polarized approach, where we are united—not divided—as Americans.”

The virtual event is co-presented by the Newmark Civic Life Series, which is a part of 92NY’s Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact, and Common Ground Committee, whose mission it is to bring healing to the challenges of incivility and polarization in American politics. It is hosted by the 92nd Street Y, New York.

“We could not be more excited to host this vital conversation with Common Ground Committee,” said Rebekah Shrestha, SVP, 92NY’s Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact. “Free and fair elections are at the cornerstone of our democracy, yet many Americans feel disenfranchised about their ability to cast a ballot. We look forward to hearing Michael’s and Donna’s insights on how we can address these issues and find a path forward.”

Following the event, participants will be invited to join the effort to combat polarization by signing up for the Unify Challenge, a guided video conversation with another American who may vote differently, encouraging all of us to help close our national divide. This will occur on June 15 at 7PM ET and is a part of the nonprofit grassroots organization, Unify America. Register here: https://www.unifyamerica.org/92ny

Donna Brazile and Michael Steele will be available for interviews following the event. For interview requests, please contact Emily Cooper at ecooper@momentum-cg.com or 212-671-2086

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About Common Ground Committee
Common Ground Committee (CGC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)3 citizen-led organization dedicated to fostering more progress and less division in politics. Since its founding in 2009, CGC has held 15 public forums featuring panelists who have reached over 200 points of consensus. Panelists have included such notable pairings as John Kerry and Condoleezza Rice, David Petraeus and Susan Rice, Michael Steele and Donna Brazile, and Larry Kudlow and Barney Frank, exploring issues ranging from race and income inequality to foreign policy. CGC produces the “Let’s Find Common Ground” podcast series, which has had over 100 thousand downloads. CGC also created the Common Ground Scorecard, a voting tool that scores politicians and candidates for public office on their likelihood to find common ground with the opposite party. Free of political agenda and financial influence, CGC has a singular focus on bringing light, not heat, to public discourse.

About The 92nd Street Y, New York

The 92nd Street Y, New York (92NY) is a world-class center for the arts and innovation, a convener of ideas, and an incubator for creativity. 92NY offers extensive classes, courses and events online including live concerts, talks and master classes; fitness classes for all ages; 250+ art classes, and parenting workshops for new moms and dads. The 92nd Street Y, New York is transforming the way people share ideas and translate them into action all over the world. All of 92NY’s programming is built on a foundation of Jewish values, including the capacity of civil dialogue to change minds; the potential of education and the arts to change lives; and a commitment to welcoming and serving people of all ages, races, religions, and ethnicities. For more information, visit www.92NY.org.

CGC News

Chris Wallace And Jonathan Karl Share Common Ground on The Role Of Media In Polarization

Part of the National Week of Conversation, former Fox News anchor and ABC Chief Washington correspondent discuss the impact of the media on America’s views.

Wilton, CT, April 25, 2022 – Last night Common Ground Committee (CGC), a nonpartisan, citizen-led nonprofit dedicated to reducing polarization, held their fifteenth public forum – Media, Politics and Polarization – that brought Chris Wallace, formerly of Fox News, for his second appearance with CGC, having last participated in 2020 alongside New York Times’ Maggie Haberman. This time he was joined by Jonathan Karl, ABC News’ Chief Washington Correspondent and co-anchor of This Week with George Stephanopoulos. The two media personalities engaged on the media’s impact on American attitudes, and how public trust can be restored as news outlets navigate a changing landscape. Former CBS news correspondent and author Jacqueline Adams moderated the conversation.

This virtual panel discussion was presented in partnership with the Bridge Alliance as part of the National Week of Conversation 2022.

“Americans trust in the news media is at an all time low,” said Bruce Bond, co-founder of Common Ground Committee. “Last night, Chris Wallace and Jonathan Karl reminded us that there is hope for the future. Journalists like Chris and Jonathan remain committed to sharing facts with the public. We look forward to seeing our audience and all Americans reading news that challenges them and finding common ground.”
Over the course of the evening, Wallace and Karl discussed their individual experiences with their respective networks, and what it takes to tell the news objectively and without political agenda. Specific points brought up during the evening include:

  • The media does not create polarization it reflects it
  • The media should prioritize its own credibility over day-to-day rating fluctuations
  • There is a huge range of information and news available in “the media” — Americans need to avoid getting caught up listening to or reading only things which support their biases
  • News should focus on facts and journalists have a responsibility to the public to interview a wide variety of people, even if audiences don’t all like interviewee’s views

During the event, Wallace expressed optimism for the future of journalism despite intense polarization. “I don’t think we should be too depressed or downcast. There’s a lot of great reporting happening on the left and the right,” he said. “To a certain degree, the focus is in the wrong direction, it’s not the institutions. It’s not on the media or the government to change. It’s on individuals. It’s on us as individuals to demand that change.”

Karl, too, expressed hope for the future while also calling for a rededication to facts over ratings. “We need to have news organizations that are dedicated to nothing more than pursuing the facts,” he declared. “We have gone through intensely polarized periods, perhaps some worse than this. I sense in the people I speak to that the pendulum will swing. I am cautiously optimistic we will get through all of this.”

This was CGC’s fourth live virtual event and first this year, following a virtual forum last year with Gov. John Kasich and Sec. Julián Castro, and racial reconciliation activists Darryl Davis and Ryan Lo’Ree.

For interview requests, please contact Emily Cooper at ecooper@momentum-cg.com or 212-671-2086

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About Common Ground Committee
Common Ground Committee (CGC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)3 citizen-led organization dedicated to fostering more progress and less division in politics. Since its founding in 2009, CGC has held 14 public forums featuring panelists who have reached over 200 points of consensus. Panelists have included such notable pairings as John Kerry and Condoleezza Rice, David Petraeus and Susan Rice, Michael Steele and Donna Brazile, and Larry Kudlow and Barney Frank, exploring issues ranging from race and income inequality to foreign policy. CGC produces the “Let’s Find Common Ground” podcast series, which has had over 100 thousand downloads. CGC also created the Common Ground Scorecard, a voting tool that scores politicians and candidates for public office on their likelihood to find common ground with the opposite party. Free of political agenda and financial influence, CGC has a singular focus on bringing light, not heat, to public discourse.

CGC News

Common Ground Committee Hosts Panel On Role Of Media In Political Polarization

Chris Wallace and Jonathan Karl will discuss how the media impacts America’s views in a conversation moderated by CBS correspondent Jacqueline Adams

Wilton, CT, April 8, 2022 – Common Ground Committee (CGC), a nonpartisan, citizen-led nonprofit dedicated to reducing polarization, announced their upcoming, free event on the role of the media in politics. CNN+ anchor Chris Wallace will be joined by Jonathan Karl, the Chief Washington Correspondent for ABC News and the co-anchor of This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Their conversation, about how the media impacts American attitudes, and how public trust can be restored as news outlets navigate a changing landscape, will be moderated by former CBS news correspondent and author Jacqueline Adams.

This will mark Wallace’s second appearance with CGC. He previously took part in a discussion with The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman at Columbia University in 2020.

“At a time when division is at an all-time high and with the midterm elections approaching, we are grateful that Chris and Jonathan can lend their wisdom to this conversation,” said Bruce Bond, co-founder and CEO of CGC. “By the end of the evening, we hope attendees will have the tools they need to advocate for less polarized media.”

This virtual panel discussion is presented in partnership with the Bridge Alliance and will kick off the National Week of Conversation 2022 when Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs will come together at over 100 events to make a difference. To attend this free event, please sign up online here.

“We could not be more excited to partner with the Common Ground Committee to kick off the National Week of Conversation,” said Debilyn Molineaux, president and CEO of the Bridge Alliance. “Now more than ever, it’s important to combat the division plaguing our country. Having open conversations is one of the most effective ways to do so. We look forward to hearing Chris’ and Jonathan’s insights on how the media can regain public trust.”

Chris Wallace and Jonathan Karl will be available for interviews following the event. For interview requests, please contact Emily Cooper at ecooper@momentum-cg.com or 212-671-2086

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About Common Ground Committee
Common Ground Committee (CGC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)3 citizen-led organization dedicated to fostering more progress and less division in politics. Since its founding in 2009, CGC has held 14 public forums featuring panelists who have reached over 200 points of consensus. Panelists have included such notable pairings as John Kerry and Condoleezza Rice, David Petraeus and Susan Rice, Michael Steele and Donna Brazile, and Larry Kudlow and Barney Frank, exploring issues ranging from race and income inequality to foreign policy. CGC produces the “Let’s Find Common Ground” podcast series, which has had over 100 thousand downloads. CGC also created the Common Ground Scorecard, a voting tool that scores politicians and candidates for public office on their likelihood to find common ground with the opposite party. Free of political agenda and financial influence, CGC has a singular focus on bringing light, not heat, to public discourse.