H.R.6843 - Building Civic Bridges Act was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Andy Barr [R-KY-6]* & Rep. Derek Kilmer [D-WA-6] with 20 cosponsors in the Education and Labor committee on 02/25/2022 to help local communities foster civil discourse to address shared challenges. The bill would establish a new, non-partisan pilot program, led by an Office of Civic Bridgebuilding, within AmeriCorps focused on building relationships across lines of difference. The program would have four core pillars:
Rep. Barr said, "Our nation was founded on civic engagement and rigorous debate to achieve the ultimate good. This legislation will provide resources to revitalize our civic culture and bring our country together to confront the issues of our day".
Rep. Kilmer said, "Instead of accepting toxic polarization as the new normal, many community, faith, and civic leaders are leading efforts to foster dialogue, defuse and address sources of conflict, and bridge differences. The bipartisan Building Civic Bridges Act would lend some support to these civic bridgebuilding efforts".
Read more from Congressman Barr's press release here.
From the bill's text:
The term ‘civic bridgebuilding’ means activities that foster respect between diverse communities, strengthen relationships across lines of difference, and forge a sense of common civic purpose, and which seeks to solve community problems and diminish polarization; and includes — activities that take place in local communities, where individuals and institutions come together to build empathy, strengthen belonging, and address local issues; and activities at the field level, where civic bridgebuilding leaders work together to share research and best practices, learn from one another, and grow civic bridgebuilding efforts.
You can find support of the bill here from Neil L. Bradley Executive Vice President, Chief Policy Officer, and Head of Strategic Advocacy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce