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143. The Impact of Political Instability on Nutrition and Public Health

Sunday, October 21
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
CE: 1.0

Session Level 2 - Intermediate

“We’ve never been further apart” describes the partisan clashing of the American electorate. Data suggests voters from the two major parties have become more polarized during the current and last presidencies . Congress is responding in kind, often voting along party lines to appeal to members’ bases and producing little substantive, bipartisan legislation . Presidents have turned to executive orders to advance their agendas. Executive orders, which do not require the deliberative process of Congress nor its approval, “seem to be ‘instant law’ and [can be] steeped in controversy .” These factors, along with turnover among high-level officials and retirements of members of Congress, cloud the principles and process of future policy-making. The gridlock is affecting nutrition program morale and causing workplace uncertainty.

Learning Objectives:

Learning Need Codes:

  • 1080 - Legislation, public policy
  • 1070 - Leadership, critical and strategic thinking
  • 8010 - Child and Adult Food Programs

Jeanne Blankenship, MS, RDN


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Laura Perdue, MPH, RD

Laura is an Extension Educator at the University of Minnesota Extension where she supports nutrition education and food access work. She has been active with the Academy in advocacy and public policy, first serving as the Public Policy Coordinator for the Minnesota affiliate and now serving on the Legislative and Public Policy Committee.


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Robert Blancato

Bob Blancato is the President of Matz, Blancato and Associates, in Washington, D.C. He is the National Coordinator of the bipartisan 3000-member Elder Justice Coalition, and Defeat Malnutrition Today. He also serves as the Executive Director of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP).

Bob has 20+ years of service in the Congressional and Executive branches, including the senior staff of the U.S. House Select Committee on Aging and an appointment by President Clinton to be Executive Director of the 1995 White House Conference on Aging, one of four Conferences he has participated in.

Bob’s volunteer leadership includes being reappointed to the National Board of AARP (2018-2020). He also served as the immediate past Chair of the Board of the American Society on Aging (ASA) from 2016- 2018, and currently remains a member of ASA’s executive committee and board. In the past, he has served on the Board of the National Council on Aging (NCOA), and in September 2015, Bob was appointed to the Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.

Bob has also served as volunteer State President of AARP Virginia and as president of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.
Bob is a contributing blogger to the Huffington Post and Next Avenue, writing on aging issues.

He holds a BA from Georgetown University and an MPA from American University. Bob has won numerous awards for advocacy. In 2011, he was knighted by the Italian Republic.


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143. The Impact of Political Instability on Nutrition and Public Health

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