Today, nine Republicans and nine Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced the Building Civic Bridges Act - bipartisan legislation to empower communities to tackle sources of division while assisting local civic and community organizations with ongoing efforts to address contentious issues and ultimately, bridge divides.
According to an NBC News poll conducted in January 2022, 70 percent of Americans agree with the statement that “America has become so polarized that it can no longer solve the major issues facing the country — and that those differences will only continue to grow” – up from 45 percent in 2010. The increase in polarization is prompting serious doubts about whether American democracy is under threat. That same NBC News poll showed that 76 percent of Americans — including 7 in 10 Democrats, Republicans, and independents — “believe there is a threat to democracy and majority rule in this country.”
A recent report from the Bipartisan Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship points out that the U.S. government spends tens of millions of dollars through the National Endowment for Democracy trying to foster social cohesion and support civic bridgebuilding in other countries to strengthen democracy abroad — yet it does none of that work here in the United States.