On Saturday, Pasadena will be one of 20 or so cities around the country to be centers for town hall discussions about the challenges of the American economy. These are being orchestrated by America Speaks, a 15-year-old, refreshingly nonpartisan organization committed to encouraging more grassroots, community participation in national governance.
Not only is Pasadena the home for this discussion for all of Los Angeles, but we have two locations: one at the Western Justice Center Foundation on Grand Avenue, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the other at the Rose Bowl Press Box from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The latter is being co-sponsored by One Community, a local nonpartisan, nonprofit community think tank co-founded by Pasadena City Councilmember Chris Holden.
The goal here is not to rally people who all think alike. This is not a Tea Party thing or a Green thing or an angry thing. It’s a chance to listen to many perspectives and share your own. It’s for people who are concerned about the national budget and the rising debt load. How can the federal government cut spending? Should taxes be raised or lowered, and if so, how? What about consumption taxes? How will Social Security stay solvent? What are we as citizens willing to do to ensure America’s fiscal stability? How can individuals and community groups best communicate their ideas to Washington?
Take your good ideas, your ability to listen and your calm rationality to one of the two meetings if you can.