SUPPORT the CENTER and the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget announce a bi-partisan, educational event

SUPPORT the CENTER ( and the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget ( announce a bi-partisan, educational event at the Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College, Benton Harbor, MI, on March 23rd and March 24th, 2020.  SW Michigan neighbors are participating in a non-partisan, expert-led policy simulation to reduce the US national debt as a share of the economy. Participation is open to up to 128 participants who register for one of two half-day sessions.


This event provides neighbors the rare opportunity to discuss their political priorities face-to-face, testing the hypothesis that ideologically diverse voters can agree on solutions to specific issues despite ideological differences.  Participants gain greater topical knowledge, find common ground with neighbors, and should leave with hope that the country might solve this and similar US problems through rational, open discussion.


The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget ( is a prestigious non-partisan group, co-chaired by Mitch Daniels, Leon Panetta, and Tim Penny committed to educating the public on issues with significant fiscal policy impact. The CRFB simulation, called the “Debt Fixer[RH1] ,” has been conducted across the US. 


Support the Center (, is a Berrien County organization researching the history of, reasons for, and potential solutions for our political divide. STC is dedicated to the hypothesis that neighbors can find common ground on issues even when ideologically divided. STC is interviewing Berrien County neighbors from both sides of the political divide to understand viewpoints and to promote cross-the-aisle, no-labels dialog, and solutions. This research will culminate in a book published mid-year 2020. 


Each eight person team is made up of citizens with differing views, as determined by the results of a Pew Research survey.  Participants will attend a 30-minute presentation to learn about the federal budget, with information based on reliable, non-partisan budget sources such as the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).  A CRFB budget expert and facilitator will guide the simulation. The simulation provides for multiple paths to reduce the deficit, based on differing political goals.   Immediate feedback enables teams to see progress towards the goal.   A simulation retrospective will review outcomes and roadblocks across teams.


Two simulations (same content) will be held at The Mendel Center:

  • March 23, 6 – 9 pm; light appetizers provided
  • March 24, 7:30 – 11 am; light breakfast provided

A $10 donation at the door is suggested to partially defray costs.


To participate in the simulation, R.S.V.P. to the Mendel Center through this link (  Please provide all the information asked for, including name, email, and phone. 


Support the Center looks forward to your participation.  Thank you.

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