Bridging the Gap with #BetterPolitics
As a bi-partisan organization in an era marked by hyper-partisanship, Philly Set Go is often challenged to justify how we can support candidates from both parties when it appears that the space between Democrats and Republican has widened from a crack to a crater. Our answer is values. Values are a critical, and often unheralded part, of our political process and an essential component to our system of government. This isn’t about interest group-driven “values” that are so often used to bludgeon an opponent, or “values” that become wedges further dividing the electorate. It’s about “governing values”—transparency, ethics, compromise and listening—which are essential to passing sound legislation that improves our lives and strengthens our communities.
The genius of our system of government is its dispersal of power. No one branch, no one person, no one party possesses such centralized authority that it can rule without restraint. Some complain that this leads to “gridlock,” and it does. But that gridlock serves a valuable purpose. It ensures that only the most solidly supported legislation will be passed, and that minorities can defend themselves from the whims of majorities.
Under such a system of government, governing values like listening (even to those we disagree with), learning about both the extraordinary and ordinary problems of our day, and the indispensability of compromise are critical to building the broad-based consensus necessary to break the gridlock and fix our public policy problems. Our system of government needs representatives that understand the importance of these values. But our government is failing us because we have elected too many representatives that do not share the values that are critical to making our government work.
As millennials, we have lived through the social, economic and political consequences of this failure. At Philly Set Go, we believe that the time is now to support candidates who represent not only the values of millennials, but the critical values and policies that make our governing process work for each and every citizen.
That’s why we will only support candidates who embrace and represent the following core values:
- Listening, even to those the candidate disagrees with;
Committing to studying and understanding the problems that face our City and Commonwealth;
Supporting the best solutions to our public policy challenges, regardless of ideological predisposition or partisanship;
Governing in an ethical and transparent manner; and
- Supporting compromise, because the perfect should never be the enemy of the good.
We believe that candidates who represent these values will be more effective at developing cogent and successful solutions to our City’s and Commonwealth’s challenges. The challenges that Philly Set Go believes most urgently need addressed are:
Strengthening and fully funding Philadelphia’s and Pennsylvania’s primary, secondary and post-secondary education systems;
Reforming our electoral system and legislative process to make it more open, transparent and accessible;
Investing in our communities, workers and families to grow Philadelphia’s and Pennsylvania’s economy and reduce income inequity.
- Standing for social fairness.
We are fortunate to support several candidates this election cycle across political aisle who share these values, and we are excited about the change in governing culture that they can bring to Philadelphia and Harrisburg. A small group of legislators committed to working shoulder-to-shoulder to come up with the best possible answers to issues that affect us all, from job growth, to school funding, to criminal justice reform, can create a decisive impact on the future of our City and our Commonwealth.
In nineteen days, we hope you’ll be standing at a voting machine deciding who you will entrust with the awesome responsibility of governing. After considering the candidates’ stances on the issues, their party affiliations, and which groups support them, pause for a moment and ask yourself, will this person be effective? Does he or she possess the values that will help make our government work better, for this generation and the next? In our view, the answer to that question is the beginning of #betterpolitics.
Join the movement to bring #betterpolitics to more Philadelphians.