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In October, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke in Washington, D.C., at the NASPAA Annual Conference. As the founding chair of the Biden Institute, housed within the School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) at the University of Delaware, Biden addressed the conference attendees and reflected on the many challenges that he has witnessed during his long, distinguished, and active career as a public servant. He encouraged the audience of over 300 educators and administrators to help our students get, and remain, engaged in public policy and public service because, as his and our life's work, it is a meaningful and impactful professional field.
"The aspirational character of America is at stake," Biden said. "What has always set us apart from every other nation is, no matter where we begin in life, we believe that there is a basic bargain: if you contribute to the welfare of the enterprise you're involved in, then you get to participate in the outcome. That is not the case anymore. The social stability of our nation is at stake."
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We need to change the culture today, not tomorrow, Biden said. The middle class is at risk. Revitalizing the middle class is the challenge: otherwise the social order will not hold. Biden issued a clear challenge to NASPAA for the coming year asking, What policy solutions do you propose to ensure America a growing and thriving middle class, that they continue to be relevant? Revitalization of the middle class encompasses a wide range of policy areas, including:
On September 28, 2018, we will invite scholars to the University of Delaware campus for an ideas exchange that will allow us to present our responses to Biden's challenge. There will be opportunities to discuss our ideas and discuss policy papers that address the issue of middle class revitalization.
Thursday September 27, 20185:30-7:30 pmPre-conference reception hosted at the Biden Institute, University of Delaware
Friday September 28, 20188:00 am-5:30 pmBiden Challenge Conference and Idea Exchange, Clayton Hall, University of Delaware