Participants in dialogue at the Reuniting America Conference
Aspen Wye Institute, Maryland
September 18 - 21, 2007
CUIP Director of Special Projects Nancy Ross (below left with Nancy Tate, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters) attended the recent "Democracy in America" conference sponsored by Reuniting America. The conference took place at the Aspen Wye Institute in Queenstown, Maryland September 18th - 21st, 2007.
Co-founded by Joseph McCormick, Reuniting America is "a network of organizations, associations, and individuals engaged in transpartisan dialogue."
This "Democracy in America" conference was one in a series begun in 2004 (at McCormick's invitation, CUIP has participated in all 3 conferences) and was designed to "engage a small group of leaders and experts from across the political spectrum in authentic dialogue about shared values, areas of mutual concern and transpartisan alignment." Click here to read Joseph McCormick's personal story behind the creation of "Democracy in America."
Ross, a long time independent whose work at CUIP involves motivating and training an activist network of independent leaders throughout the country reported, "The conference - and the larger process of which its a part - are about finding ways to break down barriers that divide the American people from one another. That concern is something independent voters feel very close to since so many of us feel the partisan divide is making it impossible for the country to move forward. "
Continued Ross, "There are significant differences of opinion about how best to break down partisanship and its negative effects. Certainly, independents feel the Democrats and Republicans are culprits in this. Not everyone at the conference would agree but nonetheless, the independent movement brought our take on the political scene to the discussions which were very engaged. This is an important process that Joseph McCormick is developing and CUIP is very glad to be a part of it. "
About 40 individuals participated in the event including:
John Briscoe, VP Development - Common Cause
Juanita Brown, Founder - World Cafe
Lawry Chickering, Research Fellow - Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Shane Cory, Executive Director - Libertarian National Committee
Maya Enista, Chief Operating Officer - Moblize.org
Scott Heiferman, Co-Founder - Meetup.org
Patrice McDermott, Director - OpenTheGovernment.org
Brent McMillian, Political Director - Green Party
Grover Norquist, President - Americans for Tax Reform
Michael Ostrolenk, Founder - Liberty Coalition
John Sirect, President - Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement
Nancy Tate, Executive Director - League of Women Voters
Jim Turner, Principle - Swankin & Turner