Preserving the American Dream

of Mobility and Homeownership

A conference to be held February 23-25, 2003

Washington, DC

Congestion, unaffordable housing, and restrictions on property rights increasingly threaten the American Dream of mobility and homeownership. This conference will bring together dozens of experts with scores of professionals and activists working to protect freedom, mobility, and livability in their home cities and regions.

The conference will help you effectively oppose rail transit boondoggles, high-density urban zoning, restrictions on rural property rights, and other so-called "smart-growth" policies. The conference also aspires to start a new national movement aimed at Preserving the American Dream of mobility and homeownership.

Conference Agenda

Sunday, February 23

9:00 am-4:00 pm: Optional Tour of Kentlands, MD, and Other Examples of New Urbanism

This optional tour will present some of the the positive and negative aspects of New Urbanism and smart growth in the Washington, DC, area. An additional fee for transportation and a box lunch will be announced as soon as possible.

5:00-7:00 pm: Registration and Reception

7:00-9:00 pm: The Great Debate: Are New Urbanism and Smart Growth Compatible with the American Dream?

The debate will feature:

Sessions on Monday morning, Monday afternoon, and Tuesday morning will begin with five main speakers before the full group, followed by five workshops each featuring one of the main speakers plus up to three additional speakers.

Note: The following table is best viewed in Internet Explorer. Some other browsers don't properly distinguish between confirmed (bold face) and invited (Roman face) speakers. If your browser has this problem, see the list of confirmed speakers below.

Monday Morning, February 24: Why Smart Growth Isn't So Smart
Topics How to Critique a Rail Transit Plan How Smart Growth Makes Housing Unaffordable How to Influence a Regional Transportation Plan Protecting Open Space without Coercion How To Influence a Regional Land-Use Plan
Main Speakers - 8 to 9:45 am Thomas Rubin Steve Hayward Peter Gordon Sam Staley John Charles
Workshops - 10 am to Noon Michael Cunneen William Fischel Bill Eager Nick Parker Daniel Hunt
(in addition Wendell Cox Randall Pozdena Kathleen Calongne Rick Harrison Ken Reid
to main speaker) Gerard Mildner Ron Utt Ronald Kirby Randal O'Toole Randall Holcombe

Lunch from Noon to 1:30

Monday Afternoon, February 24: The American Dream Alternative
Topics How to Reform Transit Agencies How to Maintain Affordable Housing How to Reduce Highway Congestion How to Clean the Air How to Influence Local Planning
Main Speakers - 1:30 to 3:15 pm Wendell Cox Gerard Mildner Robert Poole Michael Penic Robert Nelson
Workshops - 3:30 to 5:30 pm Jon Caldara Rick Harrison Ken Orski Joel Schwartz Sam Staley
(in addition Tom Rubin John Weicher Peter Samuel John Charles Jim Claus
to main speaker) Robert Behnke Gary Garczynski Patrick DeCorla-Souza Ben Lieberman Pat Callahan

Tuesday Morning, February 25: Putting a Human Face on the American Dream
Topics Stopping Wasteful Rail Transit How to Protect Property Rights Selling the Idea of Autos & Highways Winning the War of Words Grassroots Organizing & Coalition Building
Main Speakers - 8 to 9:45 am Stephan Louis Michelle Thaxton Alan Pisarski Mark Benson Randal O'Toole
Workshops - 10 am to Noon Kemper Freeman Jim Claus Richard Parsons Jane Shaw Bridgett Wagner
(in addition Tom Rubin Nancie Marzulla Sam Kazman David Strom Scott Bullock
to main speaker) Robert Behnke Eric Rodriguez Rob Atkinson Dave Hunnicutt Jay Heiler

Lunch from Noon to 1:30

Tuesday Afternoon, February 25: Strategies to Promote the American Dream

Tuesday afternoon will begin with roundtable discussions on five different topics and will end in time for people to catch late afternoon flights home.

Topic Running Political Campaigns Holding Regional American Dream Conferences Influencing the 2003 Transport Authorization Bill Building an American Dream Media Campaign Forming a National American Dream Coalition

Bold face indicates confirmed speakers; other speakers have been invited but are not yet confirmed.

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Confirmed Speakers and their Affiliations

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Registration Deadlines

Registrations will be accepted after February 19 in the event of cancellations.

Who Should Attend

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Conference Co-Sponsors

We want to express our appreciation to the following co-sponsors of Preserving the American Dream:

Thanks also to the Charlotte and Walter Kohler Charitable Trust and the Sarah Scaife Foundation for making the conference possible.

We are seeking additional co-sponsors to help pay the expenses of many of the expert speakers we have invited to the conference. If you know of any organization that might be willing to sponsor a speaker, please email Randal O'Toole.

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The conference will be held at the Wyndham City Center Hotel, 1143 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037. This is an excellent facility located within walking distance of the Farragut North and Dupont Circle Metro stations. Please call 1-800-WYNDHAM (800-996-3426) to make reservations at special "Preserving the American Dream" conference rates.

Conference rates are $150 per night (plus tax) for either singles or doubles, so you can save money by sharing a room. These rates are also available three nights before and after the conference if you want to arrive early or stay late. Reservations must be made by January 24 2003 to qualify for this rate. Be sure to mention you are attending the "Thoreau Preserving the American Dream" conference.

If you stay at the hotel, we recommend you sign up for Wyndham By-Request. This will provide you with, among other things, free high-speed internet access during your stay.

The conference has been scheduled to allow a Sunday arrival and a Tuesday evening departure to most destinations. If you wish to arrive sooner or stay longer, there is plenty to do in Washington, including visiting the Smithsonian, lobbying your Congressional delegation, or collecting data at the Department of Transportation Library.

Washington is conveniently served by three airports: National, Dulles, and Baltimore-Washington (BWI). National is the most convenient, but BWI is often less expensive, so you may wish to check airfares for all three airports. National is directly served by Washington's $12.5 billion Metro rail system. Bus transit from BWI and Dulles provides a direct connection to Metro rail stations with bus service every 40 to 60 minutes. BWI and Dulles also have airporters that are faster and more frequent. Amtrak also has many trains to Washington and the beautiful Washington rail station is also served by Metro rail.

(The irony of providing rail transit information for a conference of people who question the efficiency of rail transit is not lost on us! Washington's Metro rail service is very convenient for tourists. But as noted by conference speaker Wendell Cox, the Washington area's transit worktrip market share has declined by 18 percent and per capita transit rides have declined by 10 percent in the last decade, so rail is no panacea.)

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Please sign me up for the conference on Preserving the American Dream.

I will pay my registration fee of $199 or $149 (student/low income) through PayPal (direct your payment to or please send me an invoice and I will pay by check

I want to attend the optional tour on Sunday (anticipated cost no more than $30).

City: State: Zip:

Please hit the return key or click the Register button only once per registration. Thank you!

Cancellation policy: Full refunds provided for cancellations before January 24, 2003; 50 percent refunds for cancellations between January 24 and February 17. No refunds after February 17.

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