• Social Innovation Fellowship

Award Year 

Common Sense Action

Common Sense Action is a grassroots organization that mobilizes a network of youth voices who demand that society open the gateways of opportunity for our generation. We have three long-term goals.

  1. We build a grassroots network to elevate the youth voice to the policymaking table. 
  2. We amplify the youth voices calling on government to open doors for the next generation.
  3. We reduce uncompromising extremism in politics through primary elections.

To accomplish these goals, we undertake issue-based campaigns as we grow our organization to more campuses. Our first campaign focuses on reducing the deficit and rebuilding the economy. During the summer, we will organize political interns in Washington D.C. to create Common Sense Action chapters on their respective campuses, expanding the Common Sense Action network beyond Rhode Island. We believe that the Starr community and mentorship program will be instrumental in helping us build Common Sense Action. 


Personal Statement

This is a seminal moment in my American identity," I wrote in my journal about my experience at Glen Beck's "Taking Back America Rally" on September 12, 2009. That was the day that Common Sense Action became a possibility. On the first weekend of eleventh grade, instead of sleeping-in or watching SportsCenter, I chose to attend the rally, attempting to understand the Tea Party. After the rally, I proudly noted, "My experience kindled in me a desire to enter public service to force uncomfortable dialogue that will create policy solutions to our critical challenges."

On this day, I began to see that my passion for country and fair dialogue could come together. My reflections on the rally could have easily been reflections on a Common Sense Action event. "I challenged my own patriotic and political views. It would be my hope that the uncomfortable dialogue I fostered with my fellow Americans challenged theirs too. My experience reinforced my view that we need to engage in bipartisan dialogue to find pragmatic answers to our nation's problems."