Center Forward Aims to Fill Centrist Void in Washington
WASHINGTON (MARCH 22, 2012) _ Leading public policy organization, The Blue Dog Research Forum (BDRF), is changing its name to Center Forward. The name change is a reflection of the forum’s commitment to addressing the mainstream principles of independent-minded Americans.
Center Forward is the leading public policy organization aimed at debating and elevating the priorities of the vast percentage of Americans who consider themselves centrist.
“This change represents the natural growth of the Blue Dog Research Forum,” said former Rep. Bud Cramer, the group’s chairman. “If you’re a centrist in America today, there’s no group or organization adequately representing your views and values. We aim to fill that space.”
Center Forward will still espouse the values that led to the establishment of the Blue Dog Research Forum, and will welcome new ideas from individuals who have not previously participated in BDRF activities.
“At the end of the day, Center Forward’s values aren’t Democratic values, and they aren’t Republican values – they’re American values,” Cramer said. “What we want to do is help drive discussions and debates that involve the concerns of those who don’t sit on the far left or the far right.”
According to recent research by USA Today the number of voters identifying themselves as Republican or Democrat continues to decline, while the number of voters identifying themselves as independent continues to rise. National polling also indicates that voters prefer that their political leaders work together to solve problems. In a recent Gallup survey, 80% of voters said President Obama should work to pass legislation that Democrats and Republicans can agree on.
Center Forward is pleased to have the support of centrist leaders from both parties like Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Mike Castle.
Erskine Bowles stated “Center Forward will make a valuable contribution to the debate in Washington by encouraging policymakers and all citizens to put politics aside, pull together, not pull apart, and work together on common sense solutions to the challenges facing our nation. We need organizations such as Center Forward to support policymakers who are willing to work to overcome partisan differences to reach principled compromises on the issues facing our nation. Dealing with our debt and other challenges will require broad, bipartisan agreement based on shared sacrifices and leaders who will place the national interest ahead of partisan interests. I look forward to working with Center Forward to build upon and amplify the work of members of both parties in the House and Senate and others to build support for a common sense, responsible fiscal plan.” And Mike Castle said “I’m happy to hear the Blue Dog Research Forum is growing into this new entity, Center Forward. The ability for the two major parties to work together and govern in the best interest of America has been diminished over the years. This is an opportunity for centrists from all sides to work together to reduce the extreme partisanship in Washington and become more reflective of the American people.”
For the past two years, the BDRF has hosted a series of forums and programs through which academic experts, Members of Congress, not-for-profit representatives, trade associations, corporations and unions have participated in thoughtful discussion of urgent federal issues relative to the fiscal well-being of the nation.
Center Forward will build on the BDRF’s success by approaching the national debate with a common-sense perspective by focusing on and identifying positive, evidence-based solutions and opinions regarding current federal issues.
Center Forward hopes to lead a thoughtful national discussion, in a space where no conversations are currently occurring, for the benefit of the nation as a whole.
“People are being very clear: They want less partisanship, and more cooperation,” Cramer said. “We intend to be their voice on the issues that matter to them.”