When the local League of Women Voters chapter talks to members, says Vice President Nancy Naragon, their members want to know "'What exactly is the national debt? How does that relate to your own family debt? And does it really matter?'"
They also want to know, "'When did we get into this problem and can we ward off the financial cliff that everybody says we're headed toward?'" she says. "It's hard to get good information from non-partisan sources."
So the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh has created what should be a yearly Good Politics Forum
, with the first one focused on the national debt on Sept. 20, featuring speakers Paul O'Neill and Dr. Alice Rivlin.
O'Neill, once of course head of Alcoa here, served as treasury secretary under President George W. Bush. Rivlin co-chaired President Obama's Debt Reduction Task Force and was on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
"Members said, 'Everyone's talking about the national debt, but no one knows what they are talking about,'" adds Naragon. "We really wanted to get the facts out."
The Forum at the Rivers Club in One Oxford Center is free but reservations are recommended. Questions will follow, moderated by Deborah Acklin, president and CEO of WQED Multimedia. After the event will be a fundraising dinner for a separate $75 fee.
"Our orientation is to get citizens to participate in their government," Naragon says. "We also like to promote civil discourse. The more educated the people, the better voters they will be. We thought this actually might make a difference, as far as this election is concerned."
Writer: Marty Levine
Source: Nancy Naragon, League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh