Key Insights from "A House Divided" Forums

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You can read a newly-released four-page summary that describes six key insights that have come out of forums where participants used the A House Divided: What Would We Have to Give Up to Get the Political System We Want? issue guideThe summary, titled A House Divided: Observations from Nationwide Deliberative Forums is based on information gathered in more than 1,000 post-forum questionnaires that were submitted by forum participants, and on reports from moderators and observers. 

The following are excerpts from the summary, Observations from Nationwide Deliberative Forums:

...In response, the National Issues Forums network has joined with Public Agenda, USA TODAY, and the Kettering Foundation in an election year initiative called Hidden Common Ground. Combining Public Agenda's in-depth opinion research and special coverage from USA TODAY and America Amplified, a public radio network, the initiative will focus on key issues, examining where the public is truly divided and where common ground could be found. NIF’s network of local organizations is providing opportunities for people across the country to deliberate and exchange ideas about issues such as divisiveness, health care, immigration, and the economy.

In this brief we summarize the results of the first phase of this project, a nationwide series of deliberative forums on this theme: A House Divided, What Would We Have to Give up to Get the Political System We Want? During 2019 an array of organizations—libraries, civic associations, universities, community groups, and others—held nonpartisan public deliberations in local communities across the country with additional forums occurring online...

Specifically, the forums centered around three broad options:

Reduce Dangerous Toxic Talk: Option One centers on ways to make the media more balanced and to reduce toxic talk in social media.

Make Fairer Rules for Politics: Option Two explores ways to reduce political polarization, for example, by reducing gerrymandering so candidates must appeal to broader electorates or by making it easier for all citizens to vote.

Move Decisions Closer to Home: Option Three suggests returning more decision-making about major issues, such as education, to local levels of government...

Click here for a link to download the summary.