Oprah’s 60 Minutes Round Table highlights America’s Hope

A group of Michigan voters, who have taken on the name “America’s Hope,” are proving that Americans are greater than the politicians who represent them. 60 Minutes Special Contributor Oprah Winfrey and Republican Pollster Frank Luntz first gathered the 14 Michigan voters over the summer — half Trump voters, half Clinton voters.

Amazingly, the group of 14 have stayed in touch and developed friendships despite their political divides. They talk daily in a Facebook message thread, where the President’s tweets and the gridlock in Washington are constant topics of debates.

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In her first report for 60 Minutes, Oprah Winfrey explores the political divide in the U.S.
 CBS NEWS

The first report played this past September: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/post-election-is-the-u-s-still-a-nation-divided-oprah-winfrey-reports/

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Oprah Winfrey leads another discussion with 14 Michigan voters
 CBS NEWS

The group was reassembled in the New Year and the second report aired in February: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/oprah-follows-up-with-the-partisan-voters-in-michigan/

The group still disagrees on most issues — and no one has changed their mind. But their continued communication shows that with a little extra engagement, the average American citizen can be more bipartisan than our elected politicians.

If this experiment could be repeated across America — that is — if strangers with different political believes engaged daily with their neighbors, I think that our communities would be stronger for it. You can see in the second report how the group is able to act cohesively despite their differences; even getting together for social outings. For example, they are able to take on really complex topics such as the #MeToo movement, in part because they have developed respect for one another and will actually hear each other out.

One thing they all agreed on — their options are not well reflected in Washington:

Jeff: You know, I think if we really get down to it, those of us that are on the right side of the equation, we’re not always, what, we don’t always want to be defined by Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. And the folks on the left, they don’t always want to be necessarily defined by Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

Jennifer: Not at all.

Jeff: Because there are positions that those groups hold that aren’t real congruent with what a lot of us think sometime.

Tom: Agreed. One hundred percent.

Lauren: That’s right.

Jeff: And you know, maybe that’s our fault for letting the parties go the way they have and the platforms that have been created. But ultimately it’s gonna be up to us if we want to fix it or not.

That is one major thing that Oprah’s experiment on 60 Minutes has revealed clearly — our two party system is a failure! It would be interesting to have these 14 people split up into new political parties and see how many they naturally form.

We know one insecure American who was watching Oprah’s reports:

I wonder what the America’s Hope group had to say about that tweet! Read more here: http://time.com/5165601/trump-oprah-60-minutes-politics/

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Teen Vogue: Black Teens Have Been Fighting for Gun Reform for Years

A powerful piece from Teen Vogue highlights who African-American teenagers who have been advocating for gun reform have been largely ignored.

Teens’ recent fight for gun control is awesome and inspiring, but don’t forget that it’s exactly what young black activists have been doing. 

The piece asks an important question in response to what has happened since the horrific Parkland shooting — Why is there a different reaction to white teenage protectors than there has been to black teenage protesters?

Read the full story here: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/black-teens-have-been-fighting-for-gun-reform-for-years

Inspired by Parkland — Jon Lovett, of Pod Save America fame, calls for the Voting Age to be Lowered to 16

Crooked Media’s Jon Lovett has recently called for the Voting Age to be lowered to 16, after the impressive and inspiring actions taken by teenagers from Parkland, Florida over these past weeks in response to the tragedy they faced in their high school.

In his piece Lovett makes it clear why he believes these young people need to be armed with the right to vote:

In our actions, in our failures, America is sending a message to teenagers: this country doesn’t give a shit about you. Teenagers deserve the vote because the rest of us have proven that we are not adult enough to have their interests at heart. The NRA is right about the importance of self-defense, but wrong about the means. Voting is how America’s young people can protect themselves.

For those who think that this is an impossible idea — let’s not forget our US History. Rachel Maddow recent highlighted the moment in July 1971 when young people met with President Nixon as the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 thanks to activism from young people.

Watch the clip from the Rachel Maddow show here from MSNBC: https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/young-activists-wanted-to-lower-the-voting-age-and-made-it-happen-1165383747550?v=b

President Nixon commented that “America’s young generation will provide what America needs.” Maybe that’s true again today — as Lovett suggest.

If you Love It — Read Lovett’s full post about this idea from Crooked: https://crooked.com/article/lower-voting-age-sixteen/

 

How Octavia Spencer got Equal Pay after Talking Numbers with Jessica Chastain

Octavia Spencer loves Jessica Chastain because “she is walking the walk.” Watch the video above to hear the full story about how talking numbers led to Spencer making the same amount as Chastain on their next project thanks to Chastain’s advocacy.

You and I are going to be tied together… We are going to make the same thing.

When you are in a positive of privilege, look around and see who you can help.

Colorado Seniors at Poudre High School honor Parkland victims — #MeNext?

Change can come from any where — and any age. Two high school students in Fort Collins, Colorado decided that they were not waiting to become victims to speak out against how they doesn’t feel safe at school — or in their local movie theater. Poudre High School seniors Nina Shelanski and Asha Olick were interviewed by the Coloradoan for their work honoring victims of this month’s tragic Parkland shooting and advocating for change.

In addition to raising awareness, Nina and Asha collected signatures and messages to show support. The banner that students signed during lunch is being sent to Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“You all deserved so much better.”

“I hope we get this problem under control.”

“We need more than ‘thoughts and prayers.'”

“Change will happen. This shouldn’t have happened.”

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Nina’s message is clear: “What I’m trying to do is motivate people to become more involved.” It’s exciting to see the activation of open minded young people across the country who want to advocate for change that they believe will make them safer. If you are reading this and wish that somebody at your high school would advocate for change — choose to be that person.

Click through to the Coloradoan to watch her interview and read all of the quotes from both Nina & Asha: https://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/local/2018/02/21/poudre-high-school-students-honor-florida-school-shooting-victims-but-ask-me-next/358919002/