Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, will host an interactive deficit reduction workshop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the American Red Cross facility in Santa Maria, 3030 Skyway Drive.

The workshop will give the congresswoman’s constituents the chance to give her feedback about the steps they would take to reduce the federal deficit. The workshop will also give participants the chance to put themselves in the shoes of members of Congress as they work together in small groups to find consensus on addressing the federal government’s budget issues.

Just as in Congress, the majority rules, and each group will not be able to either raise revenue or cut spending unless a majority of the group agrees on the specific proposal. Capps will be checking in with groups throughout the meeting to see how each group comes to these tough decisions. At the end of the meeting, each group will be given a chance to present their plan.

“We all agree that the federal government needs to get its fiscal house in order. But while there is agreement on the need to reduce the deficit, there are many differing views on how to get there,” Capps said. “Hearing from my constituents always helps me do my job better, so I am looking forward to getting feedback from them about what steps we should take to address our budget problems.”

Capps’ office will tabulate the results at the conclusion of the workshop and let all the participants know what their neighbors think. How many groups decided to end oil subsidies? How many groups decided to cut programs affecting education, medical research or transportation? How many groups decided to increase the retirement age? How many groups decided to raise income taxes? How many groups achieved their targeted deficit reduction?

Attendance is limited, and RSVPs will be required to attend the workshop to ensure enough space is available. To RSVP, click here to fill out the online form. 

— Ashley Schapitl is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.