The following was posted on the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) website here, but I know they would like to see many people from the broader dialogue and deliberation community get involved!
The Kettering Foundation, in partnership with the National Issues Forums Institute, is seeking innovative ways to communicate the results of forums to policy makers. Those of you who convene and moderate forums recognize how valuable they can be to participants and see them as a welcome antidote to polarized political talk. The public thinking that emerges from forums can provide valuable insights to policy makers about the kinds of things the public is ready to act on, and where the public might need further thinking. We also recognize that the results of forums might be more useful to state policy makers if they are analyzed regionally.
This year, we are promoting a national conversation on Economic Security, with national, state and local implications. Five, regional coordinators are working to encourage forums, analyze the results, and share their insights with each region and with Washington, D.C. policy makers at events in the spring, 2011. They are focusing on how ready the public is to act on various aspects of this issue. The Guide to Forums and the Questionnaire are both intended to encourage moderators and participants to emphasize a strong focus on the tensions the public wrestles with, and the tensions where the public has decided. We believe this information is vital to policy makers and to local action.
We need your help. We hope you will:
- Hold many forums
- Send in questionnaires promptly
- Include your zip code and state on the questionnaires (must be received by March 31, 2011)
- Complete and submit a moderator report along with questionnaires
- Talk with the regional coordinator
Please return forum questionnaires to:
The Kettering Foundation
100 Commons Rd.
Dayton, OH 45459
NIF Publications, (800) 600-4060
More about this issue guide:
Economic Security: How Should We Take Charge of Our Future?
As the nation slowly recovers from its worst recession in decades, it is a good time to ask how we can best take charge of the future, so families can feel reasonably secure, parents can help their children prosper, and everyone can move toward a financially stable retirement.
This issue guide presents three options to consider:
Option One: Act More Responsibly with Our Money
Option One says that by making better choices about how we spend our money, we can make better use of what we have, and set aside more for future needs, such as college tuition for our children and retirement for ourselves. For many, this will involve hard choices. For others it will mean learning and practicing new skills.
Option Two: Look Out for Each Other
Option Two argues that the most reliable place to find strength and economic security is with each other. For families, that may mean combining households and cutting costs; for communities, it means pulling together to help everyone make a decent living, or at least have the basic necessities.
Option Three: Grow Our Way Out
We need to tap into our considerable capabilities, do whatever we can to expand on them, accept the risks that success requires, and grow our way out of this slump, advocates of Option Three say. We won’t achieve economic security by waiting for someone else to solve the problem.
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