In March, the fellows were able to experience Washington D.C. behind the scenes. They had the opportunity to have one on one conversations with some D.C.’s notorious think tanks. This included resident fellow, Matt Weidinger from American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and senior fellow, Elaine C. Kamarck Brooking Institution. An intriguing discussion was held regarding welfare reform and how different perspectives and historical events had impacted their work in politics.
The fellows also had the pleasure of talking with a woman who founded The Work First Foundation’s Fellowship Program, Ashley Putnam. She is currently working with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia on The Economic Growth & Mobility Project (EGMP). This project focuses on how poverty effects the economy. A big component of this project is based on the research the Federal Reserve Bank and other contributors have conducted. It was great to see how the founder of The Work First Foundation Fellowship Program is still working closely with research and poverty’s widespread affect.
Will Marshall, the president and founder of the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) had an open floor conversation regarding the upcoming 2020 democratic campaign. Marshall and the fellows conferred about what may be expected during the campaign. It will be interesting because there are a lot of underdog candidates coming to light with new, innovative ideas. Marshall gave his insight into who to look out for in this upcoming election. His insight is to be recognized for he has played a large role in modernizing progressive politics for the global age.
The final speaker this year’s fellows had a privilege of talking to was Ms. Jennifer Tiller. Ms. Tiller was once the Director of America Works of Washington D.C., but now sits at The Capitol as professional staff for Nutrition and Welfare issues for the House of Agriculture Committee. Here, Tiller talked about the cross over from her work with TANF recipients and current SNAP policies.
Most fellows stayed the weekend in Washington D.C. and continue experiencing the rich culture and history it has to offer. This will be the last time the fellows are all together before the 2019 Work First Research Symposium. Come May, the fellows will have the chance to share the research they had been conducting for their year with the foundation!