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Governing America: Our Choices, Our Challenge (NIF Issue Guide)

One of the National Issues Forums Institute’s issue guides, Governing America: Our Choices, Our Challenge outlines this public issue and several choices or approaches to addressing the issue. National Issues Forums do not advocate a specific solution or point of view, but provide citizens the opportunity to consider a broad range of choices, weigh the pros and cons of those options, and meet with each other in a public dialogue to identify the concerns they hold in common.

This 1997-1998 NIF issue book presents three choices or alternative options to improve the way government functions: the first focuses on government and advances the idea of turning over government functions to the private sector and suggests that a cutback on government would revive the role of civic and charitable organizations; the second centers on reducing the influence of lobbyists and special interests, strictly limiting campaign spending and initiating public financing of congressional and presidential campaigns, and transferring power from Washington to the state and local levels; the third choice focuses, not on government, but on citizens and the role of the public specifically; on reviving people’s tendencies to form small-scale associations and act together to deal with public issues or community problems.

Most Americans today believe that our government is not working as it should. Many Americans want to find a way to get back in, to reconnect with our government, and to recapture the knowledge that we are part of a self-governing democracy.

Read the report on this initiative.

More about NIF issue guides…

NIFI’s issue guides introduce participants to several choices or approaches to consider. Rather than conforming to any single public proposal, each choice reflects widely held concerns and principles. Panels of experts review manuscripts to make sure the choices are presented accurately and fairly. By intention, issue guides do not identify individuals or organizations with partisan labels, such as Democratic, Republican, conservative, or liberal. The goal is to present ideas in a fresh way that encourages readers to judge them on their merit.

NIFI offers various materials for each of the issues it produces issue guides on. The moderator guide or “guide to the forums” for each issue is available as a free download. Discussion guides (or “issue guides”) for participants are generally available in print or PDF download for a small fee ($2 to $4). DVD’s can also be purchased for some issues for just $6, for use at the beginning of your forums to introduce the topic and approaches.

All NIF issue guides and associated tools can be accessed at www.nifi.org/issue_books/.

Resource Link: www.nifi.org/issue_books/detail.aspx?catID=14&itemID=701

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