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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition

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Businessmen Create Declaration of Interdependence

by Sheila Julson


Trammell Crow and his friend Bill Shireman have partnered to form In This Together, a bipartisan recruitment effort for major donors to both parties to put political differences aside and work to solve pressing issues like climate change and maintain a healthy democracy. That effort and a new book, In This Together: How Republicans, Democrats, Capitalists, and Activists are Uniting to Tackle Climate Change and More, was launched on July 4.


Crow’s environmental activism began with Texas Business for Clean Air, in which he led 200 business leaders throughout Texas in an effort to get clean air legislation passed. In 2011, he formed Earth Day Dallas, which has grown into EarthX, the world’s largest expo, conference and film festival related to environmental issues.


Shireman is founder of Future 500, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that brings stakeholders together to advance business as a force for good. He was instrumental in banding diverse industries such as Coors and the Sierra Club together to help pass a bottle recycling bill in California. For the past five years, Shireman and Crow partnered on EarthX and had launched Earth Day 50 Challenge to address climate challenges.


Shireman and Crow refer to themselves as “rebellious environmental Republicans,” a driving principle behind In This Together. “The planet is not partisan,” Shireman affirms. “We’re all in this together, so let’s build a campaign of folks that recognize that this political division is what’s killing us. We discovered that partisan division is the same problem that is making COVID a disaster for the United States while other nations have been able to handle it much better.”


Crow adds that voters do have the power to stop political paralysis. “The voting public must vote, and vote based on facts, science and solving problems, instead of party politics, which just paralyze America,” he emphasizes.  


Crow and Shireman hope to get 5 million people across the country from the right and the left to pledge to be active Solutions Citizens—voting for politicians based on finding solutions, not on campaigns of division against each other. Their goal equates to 5 percent of the national voter base—a margin that can turn any contested election in the country, local or national.


In This Together is comprised of bipartisan organizations with the goal of building an alternative to what Shireman and Crow refer to as the duopoly—the political industry that divides itself between those that manipulate the left and the right. They note that the duopoly appeals to people on the furthest ends of the political spectrum, resulting in a divided electorate that never comes together to govern and solution-driven politicians losing to extremists.


People generally resist arguments and evidence that challenge

the validity of long-held beliefs 

People generally resist arguments and evidence that challenge

the validity of long-held beliefs 

People generally resist arguments and evidence that challenge

the validity of long-held beliefs 

People generally resist arguments and evidence that challenge

the validity of long-held beliefs 

Shireman points out that people are often quick to define their tribe and create ‘others,’ even if they are attracted to the concept that we’re all in this together. “It’s an aspect we discovered thousands of years ago in the science of war, and that’s what is happening in politics right now,” he observes. In order to humanize each other again, he says conversations between real people on the left and on the right must occur to recognize each other’s humanity and care what the other person thinks.


Crow believes there is a silent majority that doesn’t neatly fit into a category. Shireman concludes that ‘othering’, is the biggest danger to democracy. “We’ve been pretty successful as a nation because we were able to work together,” he says.


Crow agrees. “It’s believed Benjamin Franklin once said, “Here’s a republic if you can keep it.’ If we keep using words like ‘socialism’ or ‘capitalism’ without the slightest idea of what they mean, we’ll go through periods of real hardship.”


Sign the declaration of interdependence to become 5 million strong at 

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