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Facing Up to the Nation's Finances Engages Policymakers in Dialogue

Facing Up to the Nation’s Finances (www.FacingUp.org) is a nonpartisan initiative that is working to enable more Americans to confront and work through realistic choices for addressing the nation’s long-term financial condition. The Facing Up to the Nation’s Finances initiative aims to move the conversation about the federal budget challenge away from individual spending bills and discretionary spending and toward a larger discussion of how to address entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare that will explode as baby boomers retire in the coming years, the growing national debt (that continues to increase despite smaller deficits in recent years) and more closely matching expenditures to revenues.

The initiative began bringing citizens together in Tennessee for citizen dialogues in April 2007 and has been talking with local legislators on both sides of the aisle about what citizens are learning and what they want to see happen with the federal budget. Following ChoiceDialogues in Nashville, Memphis and Chattanooga, Tennessee is shaping up as a center of citizen voices on the federal budget and leaders are listening, as President Bush’s recent speech on fiscal issues, delivered in Tennessee suggests.

This is a nationwide project developed in partnership with leaders from The Brookings Institution, The Concord Coalition, the Heritage Foundation, Public Agenda and Viewpoint Learning. The project has received support from the Ford Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Public Agenda’s own Wadsworth Program Development Fund.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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