Renewing the Founders’ Promise

Following the November 2016 election, many Americans hoped for change to the business-as-usual culture in Washington, where special interests too often drown out the voices and concerns of everyday Americans.

More than a year later, Congress remains as dysfunctional as ever, and the public views politicians as even more self-serving, with the nation’s true interests disserved. Elected leaders spend up to half their time raising money for re-election, and leading roles on powerful congressional committees are awarded based on fundraising abilities rather than merit or expertise. Outside groups continue to hijack genuine governance with the promise (or threat) of vast sums of money aimed at advancing their transactional interests, with centrism and compromise the victims. These special interests hide behind legal loopholes to mask such quid pro quos from the public.

This sets the stage onto which Issue One and its ReFormers Caucus are stepping forward to showcase constructive solutions to fix our politics and policymaking process.

We are Republicans, Democrats, and independents—but we are Americans first and foremost. And now is the time to reaffirm the nonpartisan values and visions that have made America great.

On March 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Issue One is convening an event called, “Renewing the Founders’ Promise,” where we will showcase a historic, bipartisan force behind fixing democracy at a time when most citizens believe the political system is broken beyond repair. The ReFormers Caucus will sign onto a bold, bipartisan statement that Issue One will release for public co-signers as a moment to call for hope and solutions to some of the direst issues creating political dysfunction in Washington.

The public portion of the evening will include a robust, public discussion in partnership with the National Constitution Center (NCC) featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning historians Joseph Ellis and Jon Meacham, NCC president, Jeffrey Rosen, and former Democratic Pennsylvania Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies.

RSVP and learn more at, and sign up for Issue One’s Newsletter for the latest updates and news about bipartisan political reform on Capitol Hill.

Larry Birenbaum (TPW 2006 – 2007) is a member of The Philanthropy Workshop’s board and a board member of Issue One.

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