Purple Ties? It’s a Start.

tieResearch tells us that partisan politics gets in the way of Americans’ willingness to have constructive conversations about the role of government. That’s why this story about some lawmakers in Texas trying to work across the aisle caught our eye. These freshmen state legislators have taken to wearing purple neckties, jackets, shirts or scarves on Thursdays to encourage bipartisanship. Here’s an excerpt from the Texas Hunger Initiative’s blog about the goal of this effort:

Something interesting took place in Texas this past 83rd Legislative Session. Freshmen lawmakers started a tradition known as “Purple Thursdays,” wearing purple ties as a symbol of bipartisanship. Color choice for a necktie might seem like an insignificant subtlety, but the message was incredibly powerful. The ties were a symbol and reminder of their determination to work together — something that Washington has failed to accomplish. It didn’t take long before it wasn’t just the freshmen donning purple, and others were joining in. …

Think about the purple ties and the breakfast bill [which increases access to free or reduced-price meals in schools] the next time you are feeling cynical about government, especially during the current shutdown. Skepticism is warranted, but there is no place for cynicism in bettering our state and country. With our world getting smaller and inequality at an all time high, we can no longer turn a blind eye to these issues. We need to keep thinking outside the box; the act could be as simple as wearing a purple tie.

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