The Great Issue Forums are a series of policy seminars focused on some of the nation's most current issues. The topics of these unique seminars rotate frequently, as expertise and events warrant, and are an integral part of the MPP program.
The American Fiscal Future: Solvency, Security, Sanity and Sovereignty in the 21st Century
Co-Director Richard Caldwell
This course, which is specifically designed for graduate students in public policy and related disciplines, will provide an intensive opportunity for the advanced student to:
- develop a comprehensive understanding of American fiscal policy;
- understand the history and political dynamic of the modern redistribution/social welfare mode;
- delineate the potential policy, political, and social consequences of fiscal policy dysfunction; and
- create policy alternatives to potential insolvency and instability.
Comparative Ideas and Policies,
Instructor Natasha Leger, consultant, Deloitte & Touche & attorney, Harlan Abrahams
This forum focused on incorporating a comparative perspective to better understand domestic policies—their strengths and weaknesses—as they relate to national and global implications.
Joel Rosenstein, attorney, Fisher Sweetbaum & Levin
This forum served as an introduction to issues and processes that have a direct bearing on economic development in the Denver area. Students examined the current economic climate of metro Denver; budgets of state and local government; the public, quasi-public and private actors that promote economic development; and the infrastructure needs of metro Denver.
Peter Groff, Colorado state senator, District 33
Senator Groff's forum featured discussion of education funding, state mandated standards, school vouchers and Colorado Amendment 23. Included were presentations by a diverse group of policy professionals including representatives of the Colorado Children's Campaign, Colorado League of Charter Schools, Colorado Department of Education, Colorado Education Association, and Colorado Association of School Boards.
Entitlements, Public Policy of Medicare and Social Security Reform
Gov. Richard D. Lamm, Colorado governor 1975-1987 and Sarah Kuehl
analyst, U.S. Senate Budget Committee
An in-depth examination of the fiscal challenges of an aging America focused largely on Social Security and Medicare programs. Topics included important demographic trends, the budget implications of an aging society, various reform proposals, and the role of the interest groups in the debate.
Foundations of American Government
Andrew Busch, professor of government, Claremont McKenna College
This forum was an overview of the United States' founding personalities, principles and documents. It served as a guide to the foundations of American government and a key to understanding modern public policy.
Gov. Richard D. Lamm, Colorado governor 1975-1987
Students examined the history of American immigration policy and the contemporary pressures for immigration reform in America. The forum also examined the questions of assimilation and the various interpretations of what it means to be an American. Specific areas of inquiry include the first "Great Wave" of immigration of the 1880s, changes in immigration policy in the 1920s and 1960s and policy reasons for both immigration and for limiting immigration.
The Initiative Process
Alexis Senger, chief legislative analyst, Joint Budget Committee, Colorado General Assembly
The initiative process as been called the "unexamined arena of power politics." Is direct democracy the "tyranny of the masses," or is it government "for the people, by the people"? Guest speakers included Dennis Gallagher, Denver city auditor, Mike Feeley, Baker & Hostetler, LLP, and Cary Kennedy, director of policy, Office of Colorado House Speaker Romanoff.
National Security, Modern War and the New Threat Environment
Chris Carr, professor, U.S. Air War College
All professions have their own discrete language and cultural mores, but the defense sector is more opaque and separate than most professions. Indeed, secrecy is an inherent element of national security policy. This forum provided a comprehensive analysis of the structure and function of the national security community.