Political Corruption

June 1, 2019 —

In March 2019, representatives of Common Ground Solutions attended the “Unrig Summit” in Nashville, Tennessee. Organized by the non-partisan political advocacy group RepresentUs, the three-day conference featured a series of workshops aimed at bringing people of different ideological backgrounds together to discuss politics and policy in a civil, productive environment — a counterpoint to the polarizing debates on social media and cable news, and in Congress.

“RepresentUs is bringing together conservatives, progressives, and everyone in between, to pass anti-corruption laws in cities and states across America,” says Scott Greytak, RU Senior Counsel. Their ultimate goal is “to drive the movement toward a tipping point where [a] rush of state activity leads to changes in federal law.”

Their message struck a chord with Americans from both sides of the aisle, and a short film released by the group just before the conference has garnered nearly one million views. In “Unbreaking America: Solving the Corruption Crisis,” actress Jennifer Lawrence and RepresentUs director Josh Silver show the disconnect between public support of a law and the likelihood that it will be passed by Congress.

Spoiler alert — a study cited in the video indicates that “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near zero, statistically non-significant impact on public policy.” How did this happen? Driven by the need for campaign funds, elected officials in the Congress are controlled by special interest groups, high-paid lobbyists, and wealthy campaign donors, leading to a government that no longer represents the will of the American people.

The video wraps with a breakdown of RU’s strategy and actions that voters can take to fix the broken political system. “Studies show that when 3.5% of a population engages in sustained activism, they have the power to push the entire nation toward reform,” says Greytak. “That’s roughly 11 million people, and we’re working to recruit and inspire them with compelling videos like ‘Unbreaking America.'”

We invite you to watch below, take action, and share with others who are interested in solving America’s corruption crisis.

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This article originally appeared in the June 1, 2019 issue of Wide Angle, our regular newsletter designed, we hope, to inform rather than inflame. Each edition brings you original articles by Common Ground Solutions, a quiz, and a round-up of news items — from across the political spectrum — that we think are worth reading. We make a special effort to cover good work being done to bridge political divides, and to offer constructive information on ways our readers can engage in the political process and make a difference on issues that matter to them.

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