In the midst of a hyper-partisan political environment, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents in Georgia have found something to work on together: democracy.
Today marks the formal launch of the Georgia Democracy Resilience Network, a cross-partisan, a grassroots effort initiated by The Carter Center. Co-led by veteran Republican strategist Leo Smith and Dr. Rashad Richey, a Democratic strategist, broadcaster, and national political analyst, the network will bring together civic, business, and religious leaders and citizens from across the political spectrum to serve as community advocates for peaceful political engagement around elections.
“It’s exciting to see Georgia Republicans and Democrats come together through this network to help preserve democracy,” said Paige Alexander, the Carter Center’s CEO. “Their efforts will build on the work we started in 2020 when we decided to work here at home, using some of the lessons we’ve learned from working on election issues in more than 40 countries.”
The network will conduct a range of activities to build community resilience to conflict and foster confidence in elections. It will ask candidates and citizens to uphold basic civic standards before, during, and after the November election.
“Peaceful, trusted elections are the bedrock of our democratic republic, and the network shows how we all can come together when it matters most,” said Smith. “We agree more than we disagree, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.”
“Bridging divisions and working together is the most American thing there is,” Richey said. “This country has supported elections for two centuries, and the network is part of that tradition.”
Separately, The Carter Center also plans to explore other ways to support good elections and voter education campaigns in Georgia. Georgia is one of several key states where the Center is lending its global expertise in conflict resolution and democracy strengthening to help bolster democratic norms ahead of the 2022 midterms.