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Antioch University to Host ‘Volatile Politics’ Talk Featuring Journalists Lou Cannon, Jerry Roberts

Lou Cannon
Jerry Roberts

In the most turbulent political year in four decades, key issues in the national campaign resonate in California, from immigration, terrorism, trade and wealth disparity to control of the Senate and the U.S. Supreme Court.

From 5-7 p.m. Monday, April 11, 2016, Antioch in Conversation…, a public forum series of Antioch University Santa Barbara, will present “Volatile Politics” to explore the political landscape of California in 2016.

AUSB trustee the Honorable Susan Rose will moderate this open community conversation, featuring prize-winning veteran political reporters Lou Cannon and Jerry Roberts in a discussion of how our state is shaping — and being shaped — by the political events and issues that have unsettled the nation.

Because of its late primary election, scheduled for many years at the very end of the nominating process in June, California long has been regarded as an afterthought in presidential politics, treated as a kind of campaign ATM.

This year, however, the state may yet play a crucial, perhaps determinative, role in the remarkable and dramatic 2016 race for the White House.

As Donald Trump astonishingly has dominated the Republican political narrative, and Sen. Bernie Sanders has mounted a strong challenge to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, the extraordinary cultural diversity, economic innovation and social complexity of California suddenly stand at the center of the tempestuous debate. 

In a year when state voters face key decisions over the first open U.S. Senate seat in a quarter century, they will have a host of ballot initiatives to consider that may transform taxation, legalize marijuana, toughen gun safety laws, repeal the death penalty and even restrict the rights of the dying.

In Sacramento, Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature continue to debate and struggle over policies to address climate change, the drought, maintenance of crumbling roads and bridges, the staggering costs of public pensions, sweeping changes in incarceration and public safety issues and constant budget conflicts between limiting taxes and spending on programs for children, the poor and the elderly.

In Santa Barbara, voters face important choices, not only in local and legislative elections but also in selecting a new member of Congress for the first time this century. 

In an event that will invite participation by members of the public, Rose, a former county supervisor and longtime advocate for women’s issues, will lead the discussion featuring Cannon, a veteran White House and political reporter for The Washington Post and the celebrated biographer of Ronald Reagan, and Roberts, former managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle who has covered politics and public policy in California for four decades and author of a biography of Senator Dianne Feinstein.

“Volatile Politics” is presented in advance of the launch in December of AUSB’s MFA in Writing & Contemporary Media program.

In AUSB’s unique MFA program, students learn the craft of professional storytelling. Whether writing for the page, the stage, the screen or the microphone, students will discover how to use the fundamental elements of narrative to craft stories for a wide range of media settings such as print, film, television, video games, radio and Internet.

Antioch in Conversation… is a series designed to foster public engagement about the issues and inspirations that shape our community, society and world.

Brian Dearth is the marketing manager at Antioch University Santa Barbara.


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