ISSUE #9 – June 2022
VOP Provides Expertise at Congressional Committee Roundtable
Voice of the People’s mission to give the American people a greater voice in government was on full display on Capitol Hill last month. Before a roundtable of the House Select Committee for the Modernization of Congress, our President, Steven Kull, gave remarks on how Congress can improve its methods of constituent engagement.
He began his comments with a reference to the founding fathers: “when the Founders developed their vision of the American republic they called for Members of Congress to consult their constituents, to develop what James Madison called an ‘intimate sympathy with the people.'”
In contrast, Steven pointed out that currently Members are swamped with millions of emails, often based on limited or mistaken information. Few are targeted at actual legislative choices, and the people who most often communicate with Congress are not representative of the public as a whole.
But there is hope, because organizations, such as the Program for Public Consultation (PPC) at the University of Maryland, have been addressing these challenges by developing methods and tools, like policymaking simulations, to improve the communication between Congressional offices and constituents. Surprisingly, when Americans are told about the possibility of being consulted with these tools, they overwhelmingly approve.
Steven Kull made suggestions for recommendations the Select Committee could make that would facilitate the use of such tools. Read his full remarks here.
Thank you to Chair Derek Kilmer and Vice Chair William Timmons for organizing such an important conversation.
Exclusive: Expansive Bipartisan Common Ground on Net Neutrality
Last week, The Washington Post ran an exclusive story on the Program for Public Consultation’s recent survey on Net Neutrality. The public consultation survey of 2,702 registered voters found that a large, bipartisan majority of Americans (73%) support reinstating net neutrality, including 82% of Democrats, 65% of Republicans, and 68% of Independents. Over the last five years, this is the third consultation by PPC on net neutrality that has found broad public support from voters across the political spectrum. Take a deep dive into the results by checking out our survey questionnaire.
Put yourself in the shoes of policymakers by trying our policymaking simulation on whether net neutrality should be reinstated. In this simulation, you’ll get a briefing about the issue, learn the arguments for and against reinstating net neutrality regulations, and determine your recommendation. Once you finish the simulation, you’ll have a chance to send your recommendation to your Congresspeople.
Citizen Assemblies on Future of Europe
A recent PPC survey found that a large bipartisan majority of three-in-four voters favors the federal government funding local programs that give 911 operators the ability to first send mental health professionals and social workers to a mental health-related incident, rather than police officers. Support is robust across party affiliation (Republicans 59%, Democrats 92%, independents 75%) and congressional districts (very red districts 71%, very blue districts 81%). To learn more, check out the findings.
Voice of the People has identified more than 170 positions on which Democrats and Republicans agree. Find out more at www.vop.org/common-ground.