Led by Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), nine House Republicans and nine House Democrats introduced the Building Civic Bridges Act. This bipartisan legislation would establish an Office of Civic Bridgebuilding at the AmeriCorps agency to help reduce polarization and build relationships across lines of difference.
If enacted, the new Office of Civic Bridgebuilding at AmeriCorps would do the following:
- Administer a competitive grant program to support civic bridgebuilding programs across the nation – funding nonprofits, public institutions, schools, and religious groups – that are striving to heal toxic polarization in the United States through civic bridgebuilding and community reconciliation;
- Support the training of AmeriCorps members in civic bridgebuilding skills and techniques;
- Support research on civic bridgebuilding, civic engagement, and social cohesion; and,
- Activate a public conversation about the importance of civic bridgebuilding by serving a key role as both a convener and a coordinating partner to the national civic bridgebuilding movement – providing resources, network, and collaboration opportunities to the field.
The bill authorizes $25 million per year for FY23-25 for these activities.