The Politics of Economic Opportunity

Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, hosted a half-day forum examining how the struggles facing growing numbers of low-income families will affect the 2012 elections. The forum presented two panel discussions featuring major national pollsters, political analysts and members of the media. To continue the discussion, Spotlight asked members of the audience to discuss their reactions to the panels and how the forum's conversation will influence the way their organization engages political candidates during the 2012 election. Watch the full event here and click here to view the video reactions and then submit your video or written response to  info@spotlightonpoverty.org.

Explore the new Spotlight poll: Poverty, the Media and Election 2012: What Do Voters Think?

Read the transcript of the forum: The Politics of Economic Opportunity.doc

Read the summary of the forum: Forum summary.pdf

Panelists Included:

Panel 1: Will the problems facing low-income Americans influence 2012 election strategy?

  • Moderator: John Harris, editor-in-chief, POLITICO
  • Celinda Lake, president, Lake Research Partners
  • Jim McLaughlin, CEO & partner, McLaughlin & Associates
  • Neera Tanden, president, Center for American Progress
  • Dave Winston, president, The Winston Group

Panel 2: How has the ongoing economic downturn affected media coverage of poverty?

  • Moderator: Clarence Page, op-ed columnist, Chicago Tribune
  • E.J. Dionne, op-ed columnist, The Washington Post
  • Pam Fessler, correspondent for poverty & philanthropy, NPR
  • Michael Gerson, op-ed columnist, The Washington Post
  • Bob Herbert, former op-ed columnist, The New York Times

View the discussion below. Click here for complete videos of the event.


Patrick McCarthy, President/CEO, The Annie E. Casey Foundation Sterling Speirn, President/CEO The Kellogg Foundation
Jim McLaughlin Presents New Spotlight Poll Panel 1, Part 1

Spotlight recorded reactions to the forum immediately following the event. Watch below to hear what people are saying. Click here for more video reactions.

How can people get the issues of poverty and opportunity discussed in the presidential campaign? What reactions did you have to the new Spotlight poll?

Stuart Butler, Director, Center for Policy Innovation, The Heritage Foundation  Jeffrey Buchanan, Senior Domestic, Policy Advisor, Oxfam America

What messages did you come away with from the forum?

What comments surprised you and what were the take aways from the forum?

Amelia Kegan, Senior Policy Analyst, Bread for the World    Melissa Boteach, Manager, Half In Ten

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More Videos and Discussion

  • Event Home
  • Event Videos
  • Response Videos
    • Featuring:
    • Rachel Black, New America Foundation
    • Melissa Boteach, Half In Ten
    • Jeffrey Buchanan, Oxfam America
    • Stuart Butler, The Heritage Foundation
    • Simone Campell, NETWORK
    • Indivar Dutta-Gupta, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
    • Ron Haskins, Brookings Institution
    • Amelia Kegan, Bread for the World
    • Don Mathis, Community Action Partnerships
    • Dori Maynard, Maynard Institute
    • Jim McLaughlin, McLaughlin & Associates
    • And More..
  • Discussion Forum