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Speaker Pelosi sends a message to Trump – No State of the Union in Congress while shutdown continues. Also on the Thursday rundown: federal employees in Michigan to rally against the shutdown. Plus a Green New Deal in New York raises the bar for clean energy.

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“America Speaks” – Montanans Get Their Say Saturday

June 25, 2010

MISSOULA, Mont. - From the Tea Party to the Green Party - everyone is invited to participate in a national dialogue about the federal budget Saturday, including Montanans. Missoula is one of more than a dozen locations participating in national town hall-style meetings on the topic, coordinated by America Speaks.

Joe Goldman, the non-partisan group's vice president of citizen engagement, explains the idea is to give the public a greater voice in the policy making process.

"We think there are good ways to be able to bring large, diverse groups of people together to find common ground, and to do it in a way that can inform how policy makers address important challenges facing us."

The event is not a debate, says Goldman, and those attending promise to do work in good faith toward discovering shared priorities. For those who can't attend an official event, Goldman encourages creativity.

"Anybody can host their own conversation - in their home, in their place of work, in their community center."

America Speaks forums will be linked by video and will occur simultaneously. The Missoula meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. at the University of Montana University Center. Participants will break into groups and use keypads to make their opinions known. Organizers will post the input they receive online and present the results of the national town hall to the Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform June 30.

More information is available at .

Deb Courson, Public News Service - MT