Common Ground Project

The Common Ground Project (CGP)is an Association’s  initiative, as a result of FMC’s June 2010 Bipartisan Conference at the National Archives.

Following the conference, and in light of the increasingly poisonous tenor of the 2010 Congressional races, former Members David Skaggs (D-CO) and John Porter (R-IL) created Former Members of Congress for Common Ground. The initiative resulted in a letter circulated to all 2,500 candidates for Congress. The document called for more civility in our political dialogue and was signed by almost 140 former Members of Congress from both parties. The project drew media attention from CNN, Fox News, Fox Business News, MSNBC, C-SPAN, CBS Radio, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and numerous newspapers and blogs throughout the country. The positive responses from Americans resulted in a similar “Citizens’ Petition,” which gives voters the opportunity to sign their names to the letter. To view the document, please click here; and here to view the subsequent Citizens’ Petition.

In light of the letters’ success, as well as the continuing need for a more civil political dialogue, the Association has begun to expand its outreach on this vital issue.  This project falls within FMC’s objectives of teaching about Congress and strengthening representative democracy. The goals of the Common Ground Project are:

  1. To encourage current Members of Congress  to interact with more respect, so that meaningful dialogue leads to bipartisan solutions to our nation’s dire issues.
  2. To foster a more civil and productive political dialogue among American voters.
  3. To restore the public’s faith in its elected representatives and combat some of the misconceptions and cynicism that are attached to the Congress.

The CGP will strive for these goals by fostering across-the-aisle dialogue on Capitol Hill and by reaching out the community to create a greater civic understanding amongst voters, to generate a productive discussion about the many issues facing our nation, and to afford citizens a new avenue to express their support for less partisan and more productive politics.


Video from the March 2,2016 panel discussion “Women’s History Month: The Glass Ceiling Broken or Just Cracked?


Video from the November 9, 2016 panel discussion From the Trenches of WWI to the November 2016 Elections: Race Relations in America.

Video of a panel, Congress, Presidents and American Politics: 50 years of writing and reflections with Lee Hamilton and Ray LaHood, April 27, 2016

Video of a panel on the History of Finance in American Political Campaigns on February 11, 2016

Video of a panel discussion on DC Statehood and Representative Democracy on June 25, 2015

Video of a panel discussion reflecting on the mid term elections on November 4, 2014

(Discussion was held on Nov. 6, 2014 at the National Archives and  begins at 11:30)


Video of a portion of a panel discussion on Women in Congressional Leadership