On June 15 and June 16, The Concord Coalition and the Youth Entitlements Summit (YES) hosted a two-day conference in Washington, D.C with support from The Peter G. Peterson Foundation. The conference brought together youth leaders and organizations and created an action plan for addressing the nation’s long-term fiscal challenges. The participants resolved to coordinate their efforts on educating and engaging youth on fiscal issues.
“The youth conference sends an encouraging signal that young people understand the issue and are conscious of the ways that inaction will directly impact their lives. By coming together during the previous two days, these individuals demonstrated -- against the partisan backdrop of Washington -- that it is possible for consensus to emerge from diverse perspectives which can facilitate the kind of conversation that America needs to have in order to secure our future,” said Robert Bixby, Executive Director of The Concord Coalition.
The first day of the conference focused on policy discussions with expert panelists such as former Comptroller General of the United States and President and CEO of The Peter G. Peterson Foundation David M. Walker, House Budget Committee Chairman Congressman John Spratt (D-SC), House Budget Committee Ranking Member Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN) to address issues surrounding entitlements, taxes, and fiscal responsibility. The YES’s Board of Governors questioned each expert on generational issues, healthcare reform and the importance of promoting fiscal literacy.
During the second day, the conference moved to develop a grassroots plan of action for improving the nation’s long-term fiscal outlook. Working with experts such as former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies (D-PA) and White House Associate Director of Public Engagement D. Paul Monteiro, representatives from the youth organizations exchanged techniques for communicating fiscal issues to the millennial generation. Youth leaders also discussed strategies for empowering volunteers and established plans for future collaboration.
In the coming weeks, participating leaders and organizations will publish and circulate a plan of action which will attempt to encourage greater discourse among young Americans regarding this issue. The plan will include:
- Policies for sharing resources and strategies among organizations
- Examples and materials for student based events
- Methods for communicating fiscal issues more effectively
The Concord Coalition is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to balanced federal budgets and generationally responsible fiscal policy. Former U.S. Senators Warren Rudman (R-NH) and Bob Kerrey (D-NE) serve as Concord's co-chairs and former Secretary of Commerce Peter Peterson serves as president.
YES is an association of youth groups and individual activists—sponsored by Americans for Generational Equity—whose members are dedicated to giving younger generations a voice in federal health and retirement policy reforms.