Voices from the Edge on 06/24/10
Creating dialogue amidst the rhetoric: AmericaSpeaks' Portland Town Meeting: Our Budget, Our Economy
Many Americans feel political discourse has been hijacked by pundits, bloggers and other members of the 24/7 media machine more interested in ratings and revenue than meaningful conversation about our nation's future. Shrill rants about the president's birth certificate or comparisons between the current administration and Nazi Germany crowd out real discussions about the issues affecting people's daily lives and eroding the vitality of our democracy. On June 26, thousands of people will try to recapture political discourse in town meetings being held in major cities across the nation. These gatherings are being organized by AmericaSpeaks, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that seeks to "reinvigorate American democracy by engaging citizens in public decision-making that affects their lives." Portlanders will have a chance to take part in this national conversation at the "Portland Town Meeting: Our Budget, Our Economy." Janet Bauer, federal budget coordinator and policy analyst for the Oregon Center for Public Policy is one of the organizers of the Portland event. She joins Jo Ann and Dave in a discussion of the importance of creating this kind of dialogue now as well as the issues which Americans want and need to address.