Spring 2009 Newsletter Articles

Director's Welcome

Dear Friends:

By now you may have read accounts of how the U.S. election of 2008 inspired people of all political persuasions to get involved in politics. We were especially encouraged by the stories of young people across the nation who voted for the first time and of many not-so-young people who re-engaged in the political process. Every election cycle makes for busy and exciting times at the Center for Politics, but the current public interest in our teaching resources, particularly the national Youth Leadership Initiative, continues to exceed all our expectations.

Of course, it is still too early to gauge the impact of Barack Obama’s presidency on the future of American politics, but it is already abundantly clear that “change” has become the watchword of our time. In that spirit, we are proud to announce a few changes of our own, not for the sake of change, mind you, but to run our operations more efficiently, to communicate more effectively, and to expand our efforts at preparing and encouraging people to actively engage in government and politics.

As you’ve likely noticed with this inaugural issue, we are transitioning from print to e-newsletters. This platform allows us to communicate at the speed of life and it may also succeed at saving a few trees. With the money we save, we’ll now be able to deliver regular, quarterly updates on the Center’s programs and projects. We also now have a presence on Facebook – just log on and join Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball group.

Finally, I’m pleased to introduce the Center’s newest endeavor: Global Perspectives on Democracy. Working with the U.S. State Department and international governmental and non-governmental organizations, this adult civic education program will teach marginalized citizens in democracies around the world how best to use the tools of democracy for productive political engagement.

Although we’re changing some methods, the message of the Center for Politics remains the same: participation matters! Ultimately, we hope that you and many others around the world will benefit from these new avenues of outreach and education. As always, I am grateful to you for your continued advice and support.

Best Wishes,



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