New Report from the Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship

June 11, 2020
New Report from the Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship

Reinvent American Democracy for the 21st Century
Responding to a Nation in Crisis

Today, a nationwide bipartisan Commission, convened by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, has issued its ambitious recommendations to help a nation in crisis emerge with a more resilient democracy.

Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century, the final report of the Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship, which includes 31 recommendations to strengthen America’s institutions and civic culture is now online. While the project began in 2018, recent events – including the devastating pandemic and massive nationwide protests for racial justice – underscore the urgency of identifying what is breaking and charting a bold path forward. 

The Commission, chaired by Danielle Allen (Harvard University), Stephen Heintz (Rockefeller Brothers Fund), and Eric Liu (Citizen University), convened leaders in academia, civil society, politics, and business who brought an array of ideological views and diverse expertise to their joint effort. The Commission held listening sessions with hundreds of Americans from all corners of the country to develop the recommendations in the bipartisan report which include:

  • Reduce the influence of big money in politics.
  • Promote electoral reforms to increase representation and decrease hyper-partisanship.
  • Increase resources and resolve for community leadership, civic education and an American culture of shared commitment to constitutional democracy and one another.

    “This Commission worked for two years across divides, across disciplines, and across the country,” said David Oxtoby, President of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. “These comprehensive reforms are necessary to make America more representative, more responsive, and more united.” The American Academy of Arts & Sciences was established in 1780 by the country’s founders to help guide a young nation through challenges and emerge stronger. This is one of those times.

    “This is an ambitious plan because it has to be. The nation is suffering from a crisis of legitimacy that cannot be addressed by any single reform. Our political institutions, civil society, and political culture need interacting reforms and investment to launch a virtuous circle of empowerment and responsiveness,” said Danielle Allen. “Our Common Purpose is designed to establish a stronger foundation for self-government as the best route to safety and opportunity for all Americans."

Learn more about the commission and read the full report here: