Melody Barnes says citizens in the United States have important rights and responsibilities. The co-director for policy and public affairs at the Democracy Initiative at the University of Virginia says it requires we participate and be educated about our country.
Barnes served as Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council from 2009 to 2012 during the Obama administration. She will deliver an address called We the People, the Promise of Democracy. Barnes will be introduced by Western President Edward Montgomery. They served together in the Obama administration. It runs from 6:30 to 8:00p.m.
Barnes says there has been a decline in trust in institutions. She says that includes a lack of trust in media and government. Barnes says there is also growing polarization, so people see others who think differently as someone not to be trusted.
U.S. intelligence agencies have found that there were attempts by foreign governments to meddle in the 2016 election. Barnes says the federal government needs to dedicate resources to prevent interference.
Barnes says people should know that they do have influence. She says elected officials do respond to phone calls and emails. Barnes says “those who get elected want to make sure that there are enough people voting for them.”