As a nonpartisan, grassroots organization, The Concord Coalition’s primary engagement method for more than 28 years has been face-to-face events across the nation. At these events, we employ one of our several presentations or exercises that share the same goal: educating on the importance of generationally-responsible fiscal policy. Like everyone else, COVID-19 forced Concord to rethink how it connected with the public, shifting from in-person events to socially-distant tactics.
Now, we have fully digitized our toolbox and are able to host any of our traditional presentations and exercises while participants and virtual attendees sit comfortably at home. Some recent examples, which are detailed below, include “Budgets & Beverages,” “Principles & Priorities” and a topic-focused policy discussion.
Budgets & Beverages
This invitation-only, Zoom-based discussion featured Concord’s Executive Director Robert L. Bixby and Policy Director Tori Gorman as experts willing to endure a constant barrage of questions on just about any topic related to national fiscal policy.
From college students to young professionals in the heart of their working years and with growing families, question-after-question centered on the various ways the nation’s fiscal path and now-certain recession might impact their lives and the lives of others. Health care, unemployment compensation, economic growth, stimulus, emergency relief, Social Security, budget deficits, debt service and the list goes on. It was an impressive display from a diverse group.
Principles & Priorities
The Washington Center recently brought Concord back to digitally conduct the interactive-budget exercise, “Principles & Priorities.” To kick off the event, as is typically the case, Concord’s National Field Director, Phil Smith, provided a thorough overview of the nation's fiscal picture and explained how the exercise worked. Participants then broke out into small groups where they took on the role of a member of Congress and worked together to set their agreed-upon priorities in a 10-year budget.
Students provided reviews of their experience and gave it a 4.7 out of 5, demonstrating that even over the web this tool can be both engaging and informative.
COVID-19 and the Future of Fiscal Policy
At the request of a Fiscal Lookout in New Jersey -- a Concord Coalition volunteer-state leader -- Concord Policy Director Tori Gorman utilized Zoom to share charts and present on recent Congressional legislation providing relief and aid in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as what their effect on the deficit will be and what will likely come next. The event was extremely well received, and a similar event is now being organized by our Indiana-based Fiscal Lookout.
How Can We Work Together?
These are just a few examples of how Concord has adapted its grassroots efforts during these difficult and uncertain times, and we would like to find new ways to work with you.
Growing deficits, a rising national debt and an economy in flux are issues that will have a significant impact on our nation’s future. And when the time is right, when this pandemic is in the rearview, we will need to address those issues and recreate a growing economy that benefits all.
Help us ensure that generationally-responsible fiscal policy is part of the conversation moving forward by joining our efforts today. Reach out to discuss hosting an event with your civic organization, class, friends and colleagues. E-mail Concord’s National Field Director, Phil Smith, today at [email protected] to get started.