June 20, 2017


Bipartisan climate caucus a step toward restoring civility in politics

The Climate Solutions Caucus was started by Republican Carlos Curbelo and Democrat Ted Deutch, both of whom represent coastal Florida districts that have become ground zero — literally — for rising sea levels. It’s predicated on a simple idea: We know our nation is facing big problems with climate change, so let’s have members of Congress from both sides of the aisle come together, listen to one another, and find the common ground to introduce and enact effective solutions.

Amid budget gridlock, bipartisan work hailed for Louisiana criminal justice reform

Celebrating one of the few major achievements of the 2017 regular legislative session, Gov. John Bel Edwards on Thursday (June 15) signed bills making up what has been called a historic reform of Louisiana’s criminal justice laws. The 10 bills collectively are supposed to reduce the prison population by 10 percent in the state with the world’s highest incarceration rate, and save the public $78 million over the next 10 years.

Blue, red, urban, rural — Pennsylvania voters back help for ex-offenders

Pennsylvanians — Republicans, Democrats, Philadelphians, suburbanites, people from upstate and mid-state Pennsylvania — overwhelmingly believe that the state’s legislature and criminal justice system need to do more to help ex-offenders keep from committing another crime, according to a poll released Wednesday.

A bipartisan push to ban anti-gay conversion therapy

By Mark Pazniokas They were surrounded by Democratic allies, but gay activists tried to avoid partisan politics Monday as they called for passage of a state law banning conversion therapy, the discredited practice of using psychological aversion techniques such as electric shock to change a young person’s sexual orientation. The LGBT community sees potential in Read more about A bipartisan push to ban anti-gay conversion therapy[…]

Bipartisan bowling: Alaska politicians roll of steam

By Rashah McChesney Alaska lawmakers gather each week in the state capital ready to rumble, but it’s not to continue their already tense and rocky negotiations over the $3.5 billion budget deficit. Or some other partisan issue. Republicans and Democrats alike assemble, inside a bowling alley, to talk strikes, spares and gutter balls. There’s even Read more about Bipartisan bowling: Alaska politicians roll of steam[…]

Looking to Find a Way Toward Bipartisan Consensus North Carolina Politics

In the aftermath of a divisive election, Duke Professor Fritz Mayer opened an inauguration day panel Friday asking, “How do we make North Carolina purple?” The bipartisan panel of political leaders and activists expressed optimism that it would be possible for North Carolinians – and the country – work more across ideological spectrums. Three hours Read more about Looking to Find a Way Toward Bipartisan Consensus North Carolina Politics[…]

POLIS 2015-16 Report Now Available

We are proud of what POLIS has been able to accomplish in such a short time, but we are even more excited about what is ahead. If this political season has demonstrated anything, it is that the twin missions of POLIS—to seek solutions to the problems that plague our politics and to develop the next generation of political leaders—could not be more critically needed.

Political Redistricting Q&A with Tom Ross

Political Redistricting Q&A (4/24/16) UNC system President Emeritus Thomas W. Ross joined the Sanford School on February 1, 2016 as the first Terry Sanford Distinguished Fellow.  While in residence, Ross will work on a bipartisan project aimed at improving how political district lines are drawn in the United States. We sat down with President Ross to ask Read more about Political Redistricting Q&A with Tom Ross[…]

Bipartisan Group Experiments with Redrawing Congressional Districts

From WRAL.com By Mark Binker and Laura Leslie DURHAM, N.C. — Creating an independent redistricting commission might make intellectual sense. It might cut down on the partisan rancor that occasionally envelopes the state. It might help voters get more excited about more competitive elections. While none of that has persuaded North Carolina lawmakers over the Read more about Bipartisan Group Experiments with Redrawing Congressional Districts[…]

From Duke’s Campaign Stop 2016: “Manufactured Excitement for the Democratic Debate”

Written by Ernest Britt, T’16

See original blog post here



DURHAM, NC – “Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders. Face to Face. O’Malley-Webb-Chaffee. On the same stage, for the first time,” the debate-promo-turned-movie-trailer shouted. And in that moment, with dramatic war drums beating and black-and-white photos of the first-named frontrunners poised on opposite sides of my screen as if ready to pounce, I knew the first Democratic debate would be largely unremarkable.

With no Trump to boost viewership and/or to insult everyone on stage, CNN was left to manufacture excitement to grab the viewer’s wandering eye. By leaving an extra podium in the wings, the network played into Joe Biden’s “will he or won’t he” narrative and implied that maybe the vice president would make a decision in time to participate. Unfortunately for CNN’s ratings (but perhaps fortunately for the other candidates), Biden did not make an appearance.


Durham City Council Candidates Bring Their Platforms to Duke


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(Article reposted with permission from The Samuel Dubois Cook Center on Social Equity

Only three of the six candidates for Durham’s City Council appeared on Thursday night to participate in a public forum at Duke.

The candidates – Jillian Johnson, Charlie Reece and Steve Schewel, – took questions from Duke students, many of which were posted on Twitter using the hashtag #DukeVotes2015.

Duke Democrats: What can the city do to help stop the school to prison pipeline in Durham county? #DukeVotes2015
Artstigators: Are there plans for more street art in Durham? #DukeVotes2015 #artstigators
Durham Living Wage Project: Are there incentives the city can provide for businesses that pay living wages? #liveabull #dukevotes2015

The candidates agreed with each other on nearly every topic, with only slight differences in emphasis. The candidates had rehearsed their points having met the night before for a City Hall forum. After stating their platforms, students Zack Faircloth, T ’18, and Luke Raskopf, T‘16, took turns grilling the candidates on issues related to social equity.


The Washington Post: “Congress is a dysfunctional mess. Here’s why you should want to work here anyway.”

Polarization. Partisan bickering. Shutdown scares – and Congressional approval ratings at an all time low. Why would anyone choose to work on the Hill at a time like this? The Washington Post explains why talented and ambitious individuals (you, perhaps?) should not write off a stint as a staffer in this recent article.  

Winners of “The Funny Thing About Politics” headline contest announced!

Here they are: the top 10 entries from our “The Funny Thing About Politics” headline contest! With over 70 hilarious entries from undergraduate and graduate students alike, picking the best of the best was tricky…and this evening, Scott Dikkers will announce the overall winner. Stay tuned!