Is Opportunity the Forgotten Issue of This Election?•
Consider your news feed, your cable channel and your watercooler conversations. If there’s any political bent to them, it’s probably to mention the outrageous remark of the day. Lost in the sensational news, though, is a solemn truth: that while the economy has slowly recovered from the Great Recession, opportunity still seems to be the currency of a select few.
That’s the imbalance that Opportunity Nation, and its 350 organizations, spanning nonprofits, companies and government agencies, is trying to address. In a political arena where “bipartisan” can seem like an expletive, the nonprofit aims to measure inequality with its Opportunity Index while advancing legislation with sponsors from both sides of the aisle. At the core of all these issues lurks a menacing figure: 5.5 million Americans from ages 16 to 25 are not working or in school, and are costing taxpayers $9.3 billion annually.
Read our edited conversation with Melanie Anderson, Opportunity Nation’s government affairs director, to learn how this situation might be addressed.