Press Release
Sunday, June 21, 1998

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Al Gore and bipartisan congressional leaders will join AARP and the Concord Coalition for the second national forum of "The Great Social Security Debate" series. The forum will take place on July 1 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Rhodes on-the-Pawtuxet in Cranston, R.I.

The series of forums are designed to bring the public into the discussion over ways to ensure the long-term solvency of the Social Security program. The focus of the Rhode Island forum will be "Retirement in the 21st century."

The forum will explore how health, work, pension, savings and Social Security will impact retirement in the future for different generations and will feature a dialogue with Vice President Gore, bipartisan congressional leaders and the participating audience.

The participating audience will represent members of Generation X, baby boomers and older Americans. They will be independently selected by ICR, an independent polling firm, to reflect the demographic makeup of the southern New England area. This process follows the audience selection method established at the first "Great Social Security Debate" forum held in Kansas City, Mo., on April 7.

"AARP believes that it is crucial that all generations are actively involved in these forums and in the overall public debate on Social Security," AARP President Joe Perkins explained. "Many Americans believe that Social Security is an issue for and about older citizens. In fact, it is boomers and Gen X'ers who are most likely to be affected by Social Security reform and AARP wants to make sure that their voices are heard and that their prospects for a secure economic future are ensured," he added.

"The Concord Coalition believes that Americans from all generations have a stake in the outcome of the Social Security reform debate," said Concord Executive Director Martha Phillips. "We know that Social Security must be reformed, and are convinced that once citizens are armed with the facts, the national discusson of solutions to Social Security's long-term problems will be productive and successful."

Under the theme of "The Great Social Security Debate," this series of national forums are cosponsored by AARP and the Concord Coalition in collaboration with Americans Discuss Social Security, a project of the Pew Charitable Trusts.

AARP, celebrating 40 years of service to Americans of all ages, is the nation's leading organization for people age 50 and older. It serves their needs and interests through information and education, advocacy, and community services which are provided by a network of local chapters and experienced volunteers throughout the country. The organization also offers members a wide range of special benefits and services, including Modern Maturity magazine and the monthly Bulletin.

The Concord Coalition is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to eliminating federal budget deficits and ensuring Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are secure for all generations. The Concord Coalition was founded in 1992 by the late former Senator Paul Tsongas (D-Mass.), former Senator Warren Rudman (R-N.H.), and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Peter Peterson. Former Senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) was named the new co-chair of the Concord Coalition in April 1997.

MEDIA ADVISORY: To apply for credentials, please fax name, media affiliation, date of birth, social security number, phone number, and fax number, on organization letterhead to 202-434-2588.