New, Virtual Initiative: “Budgets & Beverages”

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On June 4, roughly 25 young professionals gathered together (remotely), stared at computer screens and watched an animated video over Zoom. Since it happened to be a beautiful evening in late spring in New Hampshire, they either really liked cartoons or had a keen interest in the topic of that video and subsequent discussion.

I am hopeful it was the latter, especially since the video was less than five minutes long and most of those young professionals hung around well beyond the 60-minute window allotted for this open Q&A in order to engage in further discussion on the nation’s looming fiscal challenges and the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Budgets & Beverages” was the first in a new, virtual initiative by The Concord Coalition to reach the public where it is, largely at home. This invitation-only, video-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.

It is safe to say, the maiden voyage of this grassroots effort was a success, and we intend to do many more. In fact, if an online event like this sounds appealing to you, we are eager to connect with you and discuss the array of possibilities, from different names for the event to different conversation formats and demographic focuses. 

Our goal is to effectively engage you and your friends and colleagues on issues vital to our nation’s future. E-mail Concord’s National Field Director, Phil Smith, today at [email protected] to get started. 

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