Monday, June 14, 2010

National Town Hall -- America Speaks: Our Budget, Our Economy

(I thought that some in our school community may be interested in this offer that was extended by a University of Pennsylvania professor. Feel free to register if you would like to be involved in the June 26th event. Also, share it with any of our students ages 17 and older -- as noted, that group of particular interest.)

Dear Colleagues,

While it is late in the school year, I could use some help with outreach to student, staff and community members.

As you know, one strand of my work focuses on civic engagement. Currently, I’ve been asked by a national civic engagement organization called AmericaSpeaks to help with a national town hall meeting on the national budget and deficit.

The national town hall, called America Speaks: Our Budget, Our Economy, will be on Saturday, June 26, 2010 in Philadelphia. We’re hoping to have some 500 people gather in Philadelphia for this meeting.

I am writing to invite you and others from your community, including high school students (17 years of age or older) to participate in this event. We are looking for diverse participants, particularly students ages 17-25, people of all ages who are conservative/Republican in political thinking, low income persons and minorities.

I believe this can be a wake-up call for American democracy. It’s an event that has the potential to cut through the divisive exchanges that seem to characterize today’s political discussion about important issues.

Here’s more information about the national town meeting to set citizen-based priorities for the federal budget:

  • What: America Speaks: Our Budget, Our Economy
  • When: Saturday, June 26, 2010, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (lunch and snacks will be provided)
  • Where: 3801 Market Street, First District Plaza
  • Childcare will be provided
  • To register

o on-line: Philadelphia Town Meeting: Our Budget, Our Economy

o mail: complete the registration form attached to this email

Participants will be connected with people from 17 other cities so that we can share concerns and ideas, learn from each other and develop a set of priorities to give to Congress and the President.

I’d greatly appreciate your assistance in getting the word out across your district. It will be a great opportunity for students and teachers to experience another form of democracy in action. And I think other stakeholders will find the day memorable as well!

Why come?

Here’s why it’s important for you to give up a Saturday to join with others around this issue:

Our national deficit is projected to grow at an unsustainable rate over the next 10 years. This threatens our ability to fund what’s most important to us. The country remains deeply divided over what our national priorities are and what we, as a people, are prepared to do to support them. Clearly we need to do something and let our leaders know what we will support. It's time to come together as a country to make the tough choices that will ensure America's future.

With thousands of American voices joined together, this has true game-changing potential! It can provide the kind of pressure that can lead our elected officials to start governing rather than positioning and polarizing.

To register: Philadelphia Town Meeting: Our Budget, Our Economy

And when you do register, please indicate that you heard about this event from us at PPCE.

For more information:

I’ve attached an electronic flyer and other information.


Harris Sokoloff

Harris Sokoloff, Ph.D.

Center for School Study Councils

Graduate School of Education

3440 Market Street, Suite 500

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA 19104-3325


Internet pages:

Study Councils:

Civic Engagement:

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