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Bridge Builders

Bridge Builders studied how Upstate legislators address their constituencies and explored tensions that exist within communities. By using a sample size composed of community leaders with differing genders, political parties, race, etc., Bridge Builders found that their sample reflected a desire to be involved in politics and were specifically interested in education as a primary issue. They also found that legislators felt they had been excluded and isolated from their constituencies. From these findings, team members recommended that legislators build relationships with all demographics in their constituency by engaging personal interaction and meeting regularly with community panels. They also suggested legislators build awareness through personal development, focusing on diversity issues and their impacts on constituents by working with media as well as recruiting other legislators to enroll in diversity programs such as the Riley Diversity Leaders Initiative.