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


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.