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All Common Ground, Common Good

  • What I learned as a liberal talking head on Fox News (+video)

    For a radical progressive who once harbored negative stereotypes about folks on the right, it was a turning point for me: Though Sean Hannity or Sarah Palin and I disagree profoundly on politics – they're personable, kind, and human. If you want to persuade people, you can’t demonize them.

  • Japan and South Korea: Don’t let history dictate the future

    Addressing a sensitive past will let these two key democratic powers secure a tense region – and US interests. President Obama's sit-down with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye may have been the start of a needed rapprochement.

  • Tunisia’s model for bridging political and social divides

    When any country enters a transition out of war or dictatorship, its citizens are full of hope that their leaders, economies, and societies will change. Yet too few transitions deliver. As seen in post-apartheid South Africa, the key to democratic transitions is political and social inclusiveness.

  • How the American people would fix Social Security

    Supposedly the public's inability to face the realities of Social Security makes it a 'third rail' for Congress. But when a recent survey presented Democratic and Republican voters with policy options, the majority clearly agreed on solutions to end the Social Security shortfall.

  • The education reform compromise heard round the US

    To fix New Haven’s failing schools, the teachers union and mayor forged a rare compromise – a model for school districts and unions across the country in how to confront major challenges facing public education, without blaming each other, resisting change, or fighting in the streets.

  • How grass-roots peace can take hold in South Sudan

    Bringing peace to conflict-torn South Sudan will require more than negotiated cease-fires and UN aid. Key community leaders – especially women activists and church pastors – must work for local unity.

  • Syria: What – and who – it will take to end the war

    The Geneva II peace talks on Syria set to begin next week should lay the groundwork for a diplomatic deal to end the country's three-year civil war. In spite of differences, Russian, US, and Iranian strategic interests can align, but Iran must be allowed to play a role in negotiations.

  • A model for hold-your-nose dealmaking in Congress

    The Murray-Ryan bipartisan budget deal was possible because of several key elements. The same approach must be applied to solving America’s ongoing, divisive fiscal problems.

  • Budget negotiators take heed: The art of the deal, according to Reagan and Tip O'Neill

    This history of bipartisan compromise between President Reagan and then-House Speaker Tip O'Neill couldn't be more relevant today. A message to Patty Murray and Paul Ryan as they forge a budget deal: the beauty of compromise is that its worst aspects can be blamed on the other party.

  • As Nigeria battles Islamist Boko Haram, an imam and pastor spread tolerance

    In Nigeria, where the Islamist militant group Boko Haram is sowing terror, an imam and a pastor team up to preach religious tolerance. The two men are former leaders of militias that once battled each other. Then they discovered forgiveness. Now, their story is a tool of persuasion.

  • Immigration reform: the politics of the possible

    Winning over House Republicans based on Senate pressure and worry over the Latino vote won’t work. The case for reform must be argued on its merits.

  • A view from Texas: Regular people work together. Why can't Congress?

    To hear Congress tell it, their constituents are demanding they take extreme positions and not compromise. But as I see it from Dallas, Texas, where I’m a blue liberal in a sea of red, regular working people have no problem cooperating with those who hold opposing views.

  • Let the public help draw voting districts

    No state has yet found a perfect solution to gerrymandering – the partisan drawing of voting districts that favors parties and incumbents. But reform efforts in states and cities point to an answer: independent redistricting commissions that rely on public input for drawing maps.

  • How 'we the people' can end gridlock in Washington

    Americans are not nearly as polarized as Congress and favor practical solutions. But the means they have for communicating with their representatives are no longer effective. That’s why we’re starting a 'Citizen Cabinet' in every district so lawmakers really know voters' views.

  • 3 ways you can have your voice better heard in Congress

    Voice of the People founder Steven Kull suggests three ways for Americans to have their voice better heard in Congress through an advisory 'Citizen Cabinet' in every congressional district.

  • To fix Washington, look to Mexico

    Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto’s political grand bargain among rival parties has helped usher in long-needed reforms. The US has something to learn from Mexico’s willingness to put country ahead of party.

  • Advice from Teddy Roosevelt as Congress heads toward debt, shutdown deal

    As the Senate nears a budget deal to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling, Theodore Roosevelt’s efforts to seek out fellow citizens across party lines and divisions of class, creed, and culture are a timely example for Washington's brinkmanship.

  • Persistence is key to agreeing on parks use for immigrants, long-time residents

    Nearly 30 percent of residents in the city of El Cajon in California are foreign born. Many love to use city parks but have run into scheduling clashes with established activities. A dialogue was begun to resolve the conflict. Those involved learned the importance of persistent engagement.

  • Five bipartisan fixes for US debt crisis

    Whether in the coming weeks or later, the US s going to have to grapple with its long-term debt challenge. We at the Bipartisan Policy Center suggest these five solutions – stemming from the work of prominent leaders, Republicans and Democrats – to address US debt.

  • How to break the cycle of massive teacher strikes in Mexico

    Disruptive teacher strikes are a tradition in Mexico. Students suffer most from the practice, which can end if the federal government admits to its use of excessive force against the teachers union and if the union admits that its arm-twisting tactics do more harm than good.

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