There is still time to register and, because it is a crowdsourcing event, you can even register your own group.
“You could, in fact, initiate your own community conversation where you bring a few people together in your church or your library or even your home . . . [and then] connect those people via the webcast on a computer screen and follow along with exactly what we’re doing in the 19 cities. . . . So, you could, with your own group of people, actually recreate that same conversation.”
Lukensmeyer says the goal is to get input from different people in the hopes of getting away from the trend of immediately disproving others’ ideas and thoughts.
“The role that America Speaks has taken is to develop a set of common information that people can have confidence is fact-based and fair. Using that information [will allow] people to share their views first from their values and priorities for the budget at the national level, and then on these tough issues about spending cuts and raising revenues, if we’re actually going to meet the physical challenges ahead of us in the next couple of decades.”
She adds that America Speaks is not affiliated with one political party or another and has done work with a variety of groups on both sides of the aisle in all 50 states.
“We believe that democracy has got to have a stronger connection between the collective voices of ordinary people and the people that we elect after the election — during the governance process when they’re making decisions.”