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Sender: Michael Briand
Subject: Re: Decreasing traffic on the Transpartisan list
Date: Thu, Aug 14, 2014
Msg: 101095

To one degree or another, I'm sure we all resonate with David's call to action. In the interest of advancing that aim, though, let me suggest that we will require a process for working through differences that inevitably will arise in the course of conceiving and crafting a plan of action. We will also need a subset of the listserv group, perhaps augmented with participation by a few non-members, to devote the time and energy that drafting a plan will ask of us.

In my experience, differences within a group committed to the same broad goal can be as challenging to resolve as those between groups with conflicting aims. Most of us feel passionately about our particular perspectives and preferred solutions. We shouldn't underestimate how demanding a task this will be. Are we prepared to put our time and energy where our aspirations lead us?

Michael Briand Transpartisan Gadfly Chico, CA (where, in the middle of summer, it's raining...) 530.345.3709

From: David Nevins Sent: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 2:54 AM To: TRANSPARTISAN@LISTS.THATAWAY.ORG Subject: Re: [TRANSPARTISAN] Decreasing traffic on the Transpartisan list


I should preface my remarks by saying that I am new to listserv and to the NCCD.

I am deeply involved with No Labels, a bi-partisan/transpartisan organization that is making major progress in the area of bringing members of Congress from both sides of the aisle together to dialogue, find compromises, and even agree on legislation to move our country forward. (No Labels currently has 94 members of Congress who are called Problem Solvers, 47 Democrats and 47 Republicans who meet regularly in attempt to bridge the partisan divide)

To answer your question, as to why I think there's been a significant decrease in Transpartisan listserv traffic from the spring I can only present you with my own personal thoughts as to why I am not paying as much attention as I previously had. Perhaps my thoughts relate to others as well.

It is my hope that a structure can be brought to the transpartisan dynamic that is more than just an intellectual sharing of ideas, but instead results in the creation of an organizational framework that will serve as the conceptual plan for a powerful national political movement. My sense is that list.serv is the sharing of ideas, many of them provocative and certainly interesting, but with no direction or focus.

My personal orientation is to action, so I've been focusing my direction in other areas rather then listserv where I think the sharing of ideas results in a plan of action. Having stated all of the above I realize that the purpose of listserv may be designed for just the sharing of ideas, so I fully understand how my orientation might not be a feasible part of the listserv process.

My desire is, and my focus is on making the transpartisan dynamic into a grassroots political movement based on the concept of bridging partisan divides and finding a higher ground. My ultimate goal is uniting the many individuals and organizations that share a belief in governance based on civil political discourse and critical thinking with the purpose of developing a call to action.

Perhaps this analogy related to my involvement with the Aspen Institute will clarify my thinking. Every year the Aspen Institute holds an "Ideas Festival" which is a public gathering of leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to "engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times." This is a valuable and worthy yearly event. However, the Aspen Institute has recently initiated an Aspen Action Forum which they have described in this manner:

For over 60 years, the Aspen Institute has convened the world's leaders to pause and reflect on the critical issues of our time. We invite these leaders to do more than just reflect. We invite them to move "from thought to action" at the Aspen Action Forum.

The taking of an ideas festival to an action forum as the Aspen Institute has done, describes the essence of my thinking as to what perhaps could happen through the interactions initiated on listserv.

That certainly was a long-winded way of answering your question. I hope it helps you in some way.


David L. Nevins

For Political Perspective Visit:

From: Jacob Hess Reply-To: Jacob Hess Date: Saturday, August 2, 2014 at 7:49 AM To: "TRANSPARTISAN@LISTS.THATAWAY.ORG" Subject: [TRANSPARTISAN] Decreasing traffic on the Transpartisan list

Happy August all! I'm getting pumped about the fall conference coming up - more than all the previous NCDD's I've attended.

I have enjoyed many of the posts on this Transpartisan listserv and have been learning a lot. Mark and Debilyn's questions have really got me thinking - although I've mostly been "sitting with" my thoughts and trying to absorb what others are sharing. I'm preparing a few things I'd love your feedback on via the listserv prior to the conference - including a Red-Blue Dictionary draft that Joan Blades and I are working on (credit to Steve Bhaerman and Amanda Roman for the idea).

For now, I'm curious why others think there's been a significant decrease in Transpartisan listserv traffic from the spring (81 posts in March, 56 in April, 89 in May) compared with the last couple of months (19 in June, 17 in July). I assume this is mostly summer vacationing, although I personally have had more time to read this summer (after getting a bit overwhelmed with the e-mail flow earlier this year). More e-mails are not necessarily either good or bad - but I thought I'd point out the pattern and ask what others thought.

Also, I'm curious about the listserv moderators' impressions - e.g., whether the guidelines are being followed and aims being achieved? I had thought our listserv discussion was building up to the conference - with July focused on action ideas initially. But the questions seem to be evolving from the initial plan, right? In any case, I'd love to hear the listserv leaders' updated thoughts.... --Jacob


Jacob Z. Hess, Ph.D. Co-founder, All of Life 801-712-1346,


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