A new national survey by New York University’s John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress shows that, while Congressional races concentrate on the war in Iraq and the state of the economy, Americans are worried about long-term issues such as global warming, terrorism, Social Security and Medicare — and they doubt Congress has the knowledge to tackle them.

The just-completed survey will be released at a Friday, Sept. 29 news conference.

Prof. Paul C. Light of NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, the author of the survey, will be joined at the news conference by former Congressman Lee H. Hamilton, who is President and Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and an advisory group chairman for the “Legislating the Future” project. The project is a Brademas Center initiative and cosponsored by the Brookings Institution and the RAND Corporation. Hamilton will be joined on the advisory group by former Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY) and Representative Eva Clayton (D-NC).

“If the members of the next Congress want to be remembered as part of a ‘Do Something’ Congress, it must address these issues,” said Dr. Light. He said other issues that Americans feel are being overlooked include immigration, energy, Medicare, treatments for new diseases and declining infrastructure. The survey’s dissemination will set the stage for a series of quarterly research-based forums on how to improve the decision-making capacity of Congress.

Journalists can confirm attendance at news conference and receive an embargoed survey report by contacting Robert Polner at 212.998.2337 or robert.polner@nyu.edu

  • Who: Lee H. Hamilton, President and Director, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Paul C. Light Professor, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU and Director, “Legislating for the Future” project
  • What: Release and discussion of new survey of public attitudes toward Congress by Paul C. Light with Lee H. Hamilton
  • When: Friday, September 29, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Where: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars — Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington D.C.

The mission of the John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress is to increase the understanding of Congress-“the People’s Branch” of government- its role in making policy; its powers, processes and responsibilities. The Brademas Center’s bipartisan work is aimed at scholars, students, current and future public servants, and the public. To realize its mission, the Brademas Center conducts research, teaches, and holds public outreach events such as symposia and conferences. It also hosts policy addresses by Members of Congress. It aims to explore issues and problems of the legislative branch from new perspectives. Part of New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, it is named for founder John Brademas, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 22 years (1959-81).

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