Tuesday, November 10, 2015

AEI event; putting faith to work: Lessons from faith-based organizations that help Americans get jobs.

While the workshops and seminars of American Enterprise Institute may not be of interest to the average casual observer of the news, for those who are policy wonks, legislators, academics, advocates, or work in a particular field, American Enterprise Institute is a great resource.

Last month I attended the Governors Housing Conference, an annual event for those working in the field of affordable housing in Tennessee and the opening plenary luncheon featured Ed Pinto of the American Enterprise Institute. He spoke about proposed comprehensive mortgage finance reform and Sen. Bob Corker’s bi-partisan legislation to reform the funding of mortgages.  He also highlighted a 15-year Wealth Builder mortgage product designed to promote sustainable homeownership by directing more of the monthly payment toward principal, arguing the traditional 30-year mortgage was not the best way to promote homeowership or build wealth.

It is by introducing people to another point of view, that eventual change occurs.  The seeds have to be planted and cultivated. American Enterprise Institute is a respected think tank that leans conservative. They have associates

of the highest caliber, accomplishment, and scholarship.  One often gets the impression that the only people who are engaged in solving problems and care about the less fortunate are liberals. In practice, liberals have the same solution for all problems and that is to spend more money, build a bigger bureaucracy, increase government dependency and redistribute wealth. Often their solutions make the problem worse. The most obvious example is the war on poverty and the plight of African Americans.

AEI specializes in getting people to consider alternative ways of thinking about issues and to consider alternative solutions. In a city like Nashville, where the political power structure is overwhelming liberal, conservatives must be armed with lots of facts to be able to introduce alternative ways of thinking about things and advance ideas. From the way we pick up garbage, to school choice, to welfare reform, to acceptance of peer-to-peer ride-sharing services, what was first an idea of conservative think tanks and scholars is now mainstream.

Whereas in the past one would have had to fly to Washington to attend seminars of the American Enterprise Institute, now their seminars are often live online. While their field of policy studies is broad based and includes everything from defense spending to cultural issues, AEI would be a great resource for those locally wanting to bolster their arguments or gain access to ideas that are "outside the box."  For members of the Metro Council, students in the field of pubic policy or those working to solve the problems of poverty, homelessness, and housing, I highly recommend you get to know AEI.

Here is an announcement of an upcoming online seminar.
Putting faith to work: Lessons from faith-based organizations that help Americans get jobs.

Monday, November 16, 2015 | 12:00 – 1:30 PM (that would be 11Am - 12:30 PM Nashville Time).

Private, faith-based organizations are doing important and innovative work to help connect Americans with jobs and make the labor market work for all Americans.

Description: Many faith-based organizations are doing important and innovative work to connect struggling Americans with jobs, which has potential implications for public policy and charitable communities. Join AEI for a discussion on the efforts of faith-based organizations to connect Americans with jobs and the role that faith and religious communities play in these efforts. A panel with the principals of several faith-based organizations will describe their work and discuss what lessons these efforts may hold for the faith and philanthropic communities, as well as for public policy.

Join the conversation on social media with @AEI on Twitter and Facebook.

Robert Doar, AEI
Jo Kwong, Philanthropy Roundtable
Heather Reynolds, Catholic Charities Fort Worth
Shawna Smith, Hope Builders
David Spickard, Jobs for Life
Michael R. Strain, AEI

To watch live online, click here on November 16 at 12:00 PM ET. Registration is not required. Contacts:  For more information, please contact Brad Wassink at brad.wassink@aei.org, 202.862.7197.

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