On Partisanship

This is an interesting (and confusing) moment in history. Medicaid, which historically has seen broad bi-partisan support, has repeatedly faced steep cuts in the Republican-controlled United States congress. Civic Syrup launched on the day of the Women’s March, the day after Inauguration Day, in part to make the point that women’s rights shall not be swept aside for partisan or political purposes. Even science has been claimed as both partisan and bi-partisan (science is definitively non-partisan); corresponding frustration prompted the March for Science on April 22. So what does it mean to be non-partisan at this moment in history?

Well, we have a few guidelines. We do not consider human rights to be partisan. We do not consider quantifiable facts or documentation of events to be partisan. We do not consider compassion, or empathy, or effort toward a more perfect union to be partisan. We do not buy in to anyone or anything that would have you believe that your voice or your actions are inconsequential, no matter who you are or whether you affiliate with a political party.

We also believe there are things that are often perceived as non-partisan that are not. Non-partisanship is not false equivalence. Non-partisanship is not providing a platform for bigotry simply because we provide a platform for tolerance. We do not believe that making space for voices that are often interrupted or underrepresented is inherent bias. We’re trying to make the table bigger, and yes, this means that your seat (and ours) will become a smaller percentage of the whole if we are successful. We just don’t want to be sitting at the table alone, and if you’re still reading, you don’t either.

You’ll hear different voices on our podcasts. You’ll hear different opinions, different experiences, different concerns, different languages, and yes, representatives of different political parties. We encourage all Coloradans to get engaged and take action. If that makes us something other than non-partisan, so be it.

Originally published June 26, 2017 at CivicSyrup.com