Jul 28, 2011 | By Jean Sammon
NETWORK staff delivered the petition for a White House summit on the wealth gap to the White House on Monday July 25. We met with Jon Carson, Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, who actually was very engaging! We presented him with the petition, the list of 6170 names of people who signed the electronic version, including their comments, and the paper petitions signed by another 200 people. We had signatures from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Palau, and the Marshall Islands.
In our conversation with Mr. Carson, we were please to see the he understands the importance of this issue. We talked about how the wealth gap relates to the current debate on the debt crisis, and he was very interested in what we were hearing from people around the country. He stressed how important it is for constituents to make personal contact with their elected representatives. Even if elected officials won’t always admit it in public, constituents do have an influence on their behavior.
One of the nice surprises was that Lauren Dunn joined us in the meeting. Lauren was a NETWORK associate in 2006, and is now working with the White House Domestic Policy Council. She told us that the people in her department are working to increase opportunity for people at the low end of the wealth gap.
We will follow up with Jon Carson and Lauren and others at the White House on the idea of a summit on the wealth gap. We still intend to meet our goal of 10,000 signatures on the petition, and we will deliver all of them in future meetings, as we continue to educate elected officials as well as the public on the causes and consequences of the wealth gap in our country, and advocate for responses.
If you haven’t signed the petition, please do so at http://www.networklobby.org/petition-white-house-summit. If you have already signed, please forward the link to others and ask them to sign.