The Trust for Representative Democracy is a bold civic education campaign designed to engage citizens and build their understanding and support for America's democratic institutions. Based on the ideas and fundamental principles set forth by the framers of the Constitution, the Trust for Representative Democracy promotes civic engagement and dispels cynicism toward government.
Citizens of all ages who aspire to promote the free exchange of ideas, confront and solve the critical issues of our time, and help make our nation a better place in which to live benefit from the Trust for Representative Democracy. The Trust instills the values of representative democracy, clarifies the democratic process and encourages Americans to play a responsible role in their government.
Founded in 2000 by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Trust has reached more than 2 million children, has been embraced by lawmakers across the nation, has taken the pulse of American attitudes toward government and has demonstrated the need for civic education. The Trust, through its numerous programs, has positively influenced national opinions on representative democracy and has been actively involved in promoting public policies that strengthen the civic mission of schools. The Trust has achieved great success since its inception and has created an ambitious program for the future.
The programs include:
America's Legislators Back to School Program
This program gives young people the opportunity to meet personally with their elected state lawmakers and hear the message that Your Ideas Count! Thousands of legislators have come into the classroom to share ideas and explore legislative concepts with students. Lawmakers learn first hand what young people are thinking and how they feel about issues that affect their lives. Students, in turn, gain valuable insight into the legislative process and the debate, negotiation and compromise that are the foundation of our democracy. They come away with a greater understanding of the role of legislators, and of their own role as future voters. The Trust reaches out to teachers through online lesson plans and training workshops.
American Democracy Television
American Democracy Television (ADTV) provides a one-stop source for quality, non-partisan programming about representative democracy. ADTV is a virtual network offering broadcast products nationally through the use of Public, Education and Government access channels to broadcast a growing portfolio of programs. The Trust, the Center on Congress at Indiana University and the Center for Civic Education offer public service announcements and video programming to link people and their ideas to government.
Project Citizen is an innovative national academic competition for students designed to involve them in solving community problems. By focusing on real-life concerns and problems, students learn practical ways to participate actively and responsibly in state and local government. It is co-sponsored by the Trust and the Center for Civic Education.
The Trust is part of the Alliance for Representative Democracy, a partnership of the Trust, the Center for Civic Education and the Center on Congress at Indiana University. The Alliance is working together on "Representative Democracy in America: Voices of the People," a national project designed to reinvigorate and educate Americans on the critical relationship between government and the people it serves.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education by Act of Congress and the Foundation for State Legislatures.
Karl Kurtz, Director
Jan Goehring, Program Director
Trust for Representative Democracy
National Conference of State Legislatures
7700 East First Place
Denver, CO 80230