Convergence Works with Congress

In January of this year, the Bipartisan Working Group (BPWG), a caucus of 28 House Members who meet regularly to strengthen relationships across the aisle and advance shared policy goals, invited Convergence to provide technical assistance to the group. Our work with BPWG grew out of our Building a Better Budget Process (B3P) project (2016-18) where we came to the attention of Congressman Derek Kilmer, now one of the co-chairs of BPWG. In meeting with B3P stakeholders, Rep. Kilmer was impressed with our role as a neutral facilitator as well as our ability to get disparate groups to come to agreement.

BPWG meetings focus on major policy issues before Congress. Using our diverse stakeholder network from B3P and other projects, Convergence invites experts from across the political spectrum to share their ideas on specific issues. This helps Members explore complex issues and deepen their relationships as they better understand the motivations and perspectives of interest groups and each other.

Convergence also is assisting the group with setting longer-term goals to identify what success would look like for BPWG and how to better achieve it. Funding for this work comes from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and The Democracy Fund.

In the letter of invitation to Convergence to assist the group, the BPWG co-chairs said, “Our goal is to increase the effectiveness of the BPWG by empowering Members to engage in meaningful dialogue with their colleagues in order to develop consensus-driven solutions to complex policy challenges. We believe that Convergence is uniquely suited to support this effort and we look forward to working with you to achieve these goals.”

“We are honored to have been chosen for this opportunity,” said Convergence President Rob Fersh. “Our initial work with BPWG suggests that we can help Members strengthen their relationships and identify shared policy goals that can benefit the country. This is an important, high-leverage initiative for us in what we call our ‘multiplier’ work to support others to collaborate more effectively.”