In the present era of divided government and party polarization, many citizens have been increasingly cynical about Washington and its ability to respond to pressing national problems. Only 19 percent of respondents to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey said they trusted government all or most of the time. When asked to rate the government's performance across a range of areas, respondents expressed the greatest dissatisfaction over the management of the immigration system and helping people get out of poverty. 64 percent of respondents believe that "their side"—however they perceive it—is losing more than it is winning. Many dynamics of the 2016 presidential race may be traced to the current state of public opinion.
There is, however, also a bright crop of young leaders in Washington whose reform-oriented approach has resonated with their constituents at home. We will hear from one of them at our next meeting. For an insider's perspective on the political climate in D.C. and across America—and the prospects for better governance in 2016 and beyond—on Wednesday, March 9th, MI is pleased to welcome U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY) to the Young Leaders Circle. In November 2014 she became the youngest woman elected to Congress. A rising star, Congresswoman Stefanik represents one of many reformist legislators to enter Congress last November.
On Wednesday, March 9th YLC welcomed U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik in conversation with Christopher Papagianis, President of the Paulson Family Foundation. Born in Albany, Elise Stefanik proudly represents the 21st Congressional District in upstate New York. After graduating from Harvard University in 2006, she went to work in the West Wing of the White House as part of President George W. Bush's Domestic Policy Council staff and in the Chief of Staff's office, where she assisted in overseeing the policy development process on all economic and domestic policy issues. During the 2012 presidential campaign, she served as director of vice presidential debate prep to U.S. Representative Paul Ryan, who presently serves as Speaker of the House. In Congress, Stefanik serves on the Committee on Armed Services and Committee on Education and the Workforce. Christopher Papagianis is president of the Paulson Family Foundation. Previously he worked at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and the Peterson family office. Papagianis also was founder and managing director of the think tank, e21: Economic Policies for the 21st Century, which is now led by the Manhattan Institute. Prior to 2009, Mr. Papagianis was a special assistant for domestic policy to President George W. Bush. He was a Peabody Fellow at Harvard University, where he received his B.A.