Divided We Fall: Why Consensus Matters | A Book Event Hosted by the Alice M. Rivlin Initiative at the D.C. Policy Center

November 15, 2022
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Tuesday, November 15, 2022 
8:00-9:30 AM 
MLK Library, 5th Floor, 901 G St NW, Washington, DC 20001 

Registration required. Continental breakfast provided. Attendees may reserve a book for purchase and pickup at the event via the RSVP form.

About the event

Partisan gridlock too often makes the headlines in the nation’s capital. In her final book, Divided We Fall: Why Consensus Matters, economist Alice M. Rivlin argues that proven economic policies could lead to sustainable American prosperity and opportunity for all, but crafting them requires the tough, time-consuming work of consensus building and bipartisan negotiation. In a divided country with shifting majorities, major policies must have such bipartisan buy-in and broad public support. Otherwise, we can expect either destabilizing swings in policy or total gridlock in the face of looming challenges.

Outside of the white marble halls of federal government, what does Alice Rivlin’s message, brought to us posthumously by Allan Rivlin and Sheri Rivlin, mean for the District of Columbia, to which Alice devoted much of her life? Just as when Alice focused her attention on the D.C. in the 1990s, the city is once again at a crossroads: Though the District has seen incredible economic gain in the past two decades, inequality has grown alongside that prosperity. And with post-COVID trends that are profoundly reshaping the city’s economy, many people who can afford to leave the District are doing so. While local government in the District is largely a one-party system, this message of consensus nonetheless has much to teach us locally, at a time when policy should be focused on creating long term prosperity and opportunity.

Join the D.C. Policy Center for a breakfast event with co-authors Sheri and Allan Rivlin, as well as WAMU’s Martin Austermuhle, and the Honorable Anthony A. Williams, Mayor of the District of Columbia (1999-2007), for an important conversation about what the lessons of the past and Alice’s message of consensus can teach us today.

Event recording

Divided We Fall: Why Consensus Matters (Panel 1) from D.C. Policy Center on Vimeo.