Brenda Jo Gillund, Grand Forks, column: Budget meeting could be start of something big
By Brenda Jo Gillund GRAND FORKS -- On June 26, I attended a national town meeting called America Speaks: Our Budget, Our Economy. Yes, I chose to spend a sunny summer day indoors, talking about the deficit. Yikes, right? But it was fun! It wasn'...
By Brenda Jo Gillund
GRAND FORKS -- On June 26, I attended a national town meeting called America Speaks: Our Budget, Our Economy. Yes, I chose to spend a sunny summer day indoors, talking about the deficit. Yikes, right?
But it was fun! It wasn't just five hours of talking about problems. We were trying to find solutions.
Before I arrived at the meeting, I was a bit afraid that there would be bickering.
Quite the opposite: There were lots of spirited discussions, but no raised voices, no insults and no hecklers.
I was afraid that there would be either a conservative or a liberal majority. Nope! I believe we were a very representative sample of Americans, including folks like me who are "issue people" rather than "political party people."
We talked specifically about four areas of spending and four areas of revenue. I understand the health care portion of the discussion, because health care is my experience and my expertise. But I had a lot to learn about the other areas. Luckily, all the information was presented in a way that could reach everyone, from the novice to the expert.
Every one in attendance received a "Federal Budget 101" handout that helped explain why we should care about the federal budget.
Herald readers can get the same information, too, at the website usabudgetdiscussion.org.
Even before I read the document, I knew that we need to come together to put our country on a sustainable path by setting national priorities and making decisions about how to pay for them.
At the end of the meeting, I felt encouraged that we Americans we are willing to take the necessary steps to plan for the future. Our collective input will be used to help America plan ahead so that our nation can support its highest priorities, keep creating new jobs and maintain confidence in our financial markets.
Way back in 1787, the U.S. was a brand-new country and had a government that many felt was not as good as it could be. The founding fathers met to come up with a new way of governance.
The 13 states each had its own idea of what the new government should do, and they had many debates and discussions to come up with a plan. The Constitution was born in compromise, because only by compromising could all the disagreements be resolved.
Being part of the "Schoolhouse Rock" generation, I know the Preamble to the Constitution, not only "by heart" but also in tune: We the People (of the United States) in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
"I" am part of the "we" in We the People. So are my fellow Herald readers.
Gillund is an oncology resource nurse at Altru Cancer Center in Grand Forks.