Forum focuses on world

by John Carter

As the United States approaches the year 2000, many are concerned with the Y2K computer bug. At the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, however, the focus of the Policy Forum is on politics rather than processing in the 21st century.
Thursday afternoon Patricia Schroeder, a former Colorado congresswoman and University graduate, addressed her concerns with American politics at the Humphrey Institute’s Policy Forum. This year’s theme, “Y2K, Is America Programmed to Lead?” looks at the Unites States’ role in world politics.
Schroeder said that the United States is the leader of world government, but if we want to maintain our position into the 21st century, Americans need to “roll up their shirt sleeves” and make change happen.
Schroeder feels that the current state of the government is affected by the demographics of current political leaders.
Schroeder believes that the government would change for the better if more women and minorities get involved in politics. She feels that most of these ideas and voices “get drowned out,” because the majority of political leaders are white males.
“I’m getting sick of problems (with the government),” said Lewissa Swanson, a graduate student in the Humphrey Institute. “Schroeder can give solutions or at least reasonable alternatives.”
One of these alternatives is focusing on young people, the next generation, especially when thinking about politics past 1999.
Schroeder “inspires younger people to become involved with politics or serve the community in other ways,” said Victoria Wilgocki, a program assistant for the Humphrey Institute.
Although no longer directly involved in the political process, she recently wrote, “24 Years of House Work and the Place Is Still a Mess.” The book focuses on her years in Congress.
Schroeder’s presentation was co-sponsored by Institute’s Policy Forum and the Center for Women’s Public Policy. Her remarks could also be heard live on Minnesota Public Radio’s “Midday” program.
Policy Forum co-director Tim Penny said the Forum invites guest speakers to discuss political leadership.
“They help the audience experience firsthand what leadership is all about at a national level,” Penny said.