What is Braver Politics?
American politics is broken.
From city councils and school boards to state legislatures and the U.S. Congress, elected officials no longer trust one another, candidates are incentivized to divide the citizenry, and our political institutions are mired in gridlock, dysfunction, and rancor.
Braver Politics is a national initiative to depolarize our politics and remake our political culture from the ground up in a spirit of trust, citizenship, and good-will. By fostering opportunities for elected officials, candidates, and their staffs to participate in Braver Angels programs with each other and with constituents, develop skills for communicating across difference, and build constructive relationships across partisan divides, Braver Politics will influence our politics at the local, state, and federal level going into the 2022 elections and beyond.
The first three Braver Politics programs being offered for citizens and candidates in 2022 include:
- Neighbor Conversations with Candidates: Small group conversations between candidates and voters focused on the values and concerns behind policy positions—and how to advance the goal of depolarization.
- Braver Politics Candidate Debates: Moderated debates between candidates in which the questions are sourced in advance from the community rather than coming from journalists, and prioritized based on community sentiment.
- Managing Difficult Conversations with Constituents and Colleagues E-Course: An e-course for elected officials, candidates, and their staffs on how to communicate across difference — with colleagues and constituents.
Braver Politics has also developed a wider suite of additional programs and opportunities for officials holding public office, including red/blue workshops, 1:1 conversations, and moderated discussions with constituents.
2022 candidates who participate in a Braver Politics will be officially acknowledged by Ballotpedia, the digital encyclopedia of American elections, California’s Institute for Local Government will help pilot innovative programs and provide education and training to local leaders about bridging divides, and over the course of the next few months, Braver Politics will announce additional partners committed to scaling our initiative across the United States.