Common Ground Solutions is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that helps Americans become and remain active citizens who work together across party lines. We believe that as more citizens become engaged in concrete and meaningful ways, they will find opportunities to work together and encourage their leaders to find common ground.

Through events and content that explore areas of agreement, educate citizens on how to take action, and connect constituents directly to their elected representatives, we offer an accessible entry point for Americans who want to impact public policy and need a road map for doing so.

Learn more about our flagship program, the Citizen Panel Initiative.


Howard Konar, Founder

Howard Konar is founder of Common Ground Solutions and president of Konar Properties, a family-owned real estate development business in his home town of Rochester, New York. He has served as a trustee at several organizations, including Monroe Community College and the George Eastman House, and as a board chair of the Monroe Community College Foundation. He also has served in various capacities on the board of economic development, affordable housing, and Jewish community organizations.

Before joining his family real estate business, Howard was a law partner in the Rochester firm of Boylan Code, where he pioneered the use of Employee Stock Ownership Plans in upstate New York. Frustrated by a lack of dialogue and consensus-based policymaking by government leaders, Howard founded Common Ground Solutions in 2017.

Jillian Youngblood, Executive Director

Jillian Youngblood is the executive director of Common Ground Solutions. She has more than 15 years of experience in politics, government, and communications with a focus on democracy reform, public health, and education policy. As an aide to Rep. Jerrold Nadler, she was a lead staffer for the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, and worked on issues related to health care, urban planning, and appropriations. Previously, she managed New York City’s federal and state legislative portfolios on public health under the Bloomberg Administration. She also led communications for an education technology start-up, where she authored a report on predatory higher ed lead generation, contributed to a book on educational entrepreneurship published by Harvard Education Press, and was a frequent speaker on education reform.