Upcoming Programs 2

Upcoming 2019 Programs — Save the Dates

Tense Times Ahead With Our Southern Neighbor… Mexico

with Alex Saragoza

Come Try Something NEW…

                 HAPPY HOUR!

  • WHAT: Enjoy a selection of Mexican Appetizers and a No‑Host Bar
  • WHEN:  Wednesday, December 4
  • TIME:  Nibbles & Drinks: 4:00 pm; Presentation: 5:00 – 6:00
  • WHERE: Quail Inn, 7025 Oakmont Drive, Santa Rosa (Oakmont)

Members: $16; Non-members: $26

Reservations Closed
Please use our Contact Us page to be added to the Wait List

Alex Saragoza, Ph.D., professor emeritus of history in the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley

A revised NAFTA agreement has been ratified by Mexico and Canada (but not yet formally approved by the U.S.);  “el Chapo” is in prison, but the drugs continue to enter the U.S. (including by submarines no less); and the funding of the border wall has received the Supreme Court’s approval to go forward as proposed by the White House.  Meanwhile, the newly elected left-of-center populist President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (commonly referred to by his initials AMLO), appears unsure how best to deal with the U.S.

This discussion will focus on three issues that vex the contemporary relationship between Mexico and the United States: the revisions of the former NAFTA accord which have produced the newly named United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA); the illegal drug trade; and immigration and border enforcement.  With 53 million Mexicans living below the poverty line, AMLO’s main agenda has been focused on domestic issues in an attempt to shake up the status quo.  In the U.S., President Trump faces a reelection contest in 2020 in which the issue of border security has been, and remains, a controversial and hotly contested topic throughout the country.

It is understandable to think that the near future points to a testy, tense period for relations between the two countries.

Mr. Saragoza earned his Ph.D. in Latin American history from the University of California, San Diego, specializing in the field of modern Mexican history.  At the University of California, Berkeley, he has served as Chair of the Center of Latin American Studies, as Director of the University of California Center in Mexico City, and was a founding member of the University of California’s U.S.-Mexico Studies Program.

He has published widely on Mexico-related topics, and was the chief editor of the two-volume work, Mexico Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic.  He has lectured at various universities, and in 2012 he was a visiting professor at the Sorbonne, of Paris, France.  He was the recipient of the 2017 Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award from the Osher Life-Learning Institute at UC Berkeley, and he has been selected to the Distinguished Lecturer Program of the Organization of American Historians.  He is professor emeritus of history in the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley.

* * * * *

How to Save a Constitutional Democracy … Including Ours

Tom Ginsburg, Leo Spitz Professor of International Law and Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago; member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Thursday, January 16, 2020
7:30 p.m.  Spring Lake Village Auditorium
5555 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa
Members & SLV Residents: No Charge; Non-members: $10

No reservations required.

Around the world, we see liberal constitutional democracies under threat, and many Americans believe that our own institutions are at risk as well. What can be learned from other countries in terms of institutional decline and erosion?  Drawing on comparative experience, our speaker will identify the risks he sees to American democracy, as well as potential sources of resilience.  While some of our risks are hard-wired into the Constitution, there are many others that are within our grasp, even in an era of serious political polarization.

Tom Ginsburg focuses on comparative and international law from an interdisciplinary perspective. He holds BA, JD, and PhD degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. His latest book, How to Save a Constitutional Democracy, was co-authored with Aziz Z. Huq and can be ordered through Copperfield’s.

* * * * *

WACSC proudly presents
Ambassador (ret) Kathleen Stephens

at our Annual Dinner where her topic will be

The U.S. – South Korea Alliance:
Linchpin under Stress?

Ambassador (ret) Kathleen Stephens was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea 2008-2011.   She is currently President and CEO of the Korean Economic Institute of America, Washington, D.C.

Friday, January 31, 2020
Hyatt Regency Hotel
170 Railroad St., Santa Rosa
5:15 p.m. No-Host Cocktails; 6:00 Dinner

Members: $65; Non-members: $75  (parking fee included)

Meal Selections:  Maple Glazed Chicken Breast, Zinfandel Braised Pork Loin or Butternut Squash Risotto

Anna Grzymala Busse Reservations

Reservations close 1/24/2020 (or earlier if capacity is reached).

Successive American and South Korean leaders have termed the alliance between the two countries a linchpin of stability in Asia.  Today the alliance faces new strains and challenges: how to forge a coordinated approach to the task of denuclearization and peace on the Korean peninsula, and how to manage trade relations at a time of heightened U.S. – China tensions and a downgrading of South Korea-Japan relations.

Is the U.S.-South Korea alliance a Cold War anachronism, unable to weather the era of China Rising, America First, and Korea’s own nationalist moment? Will South Korea have to “choose” between China and the U.S., and if so, what will it choose? Is the “blood-forged” alliance with South Korea a burden or a benefit to the United States? Will North Korea ever peacefully give up its weapons?

Ambassador Stephens was the first woman to serve as Ambassador to the Republic of Korea and the first Ambassador to speak the Korean language. Her first visit to South Korea was in the 1970s as a Peace Corps volunteer and she then returned in the 1980s as a diplomat at the U.S. Embassy. Additional diplomatic assignments included postings in India, China, Yugoslavia, and Northern Ireland.

She has also served as Acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (2012); Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2005 to 2007; involved in the Six-Party Talks efforts with North Korea; and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (2003-2005)

* * * * *

Impeachment vs. Re-Election: How Politics, Issues, and Money Influence US Campaigns and Elections

David McCuan, Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science, Sonoma State U.

Thursday , March 12, 2020
12:00 noon, Flamingo Hotel
2777 4th St.
Santa Rosa, CA 95405

Luncheon: Members: $36; Non-members: $46

Meal Selections: Grilled Chicken Breast Alfredo or Roasted Vegetable Plate

Anna Grzymala Busse Reservations

Reservations close 3/5/2020 (or earlier if capacity is reached).

The 2020 U.S. national and state elections take place during an unprecedented time in our nation’s history.  Politics is dominated by polarization, negativity, compressed news cycles, and division that extends across multiple lines.

Professor McCuan will discuss how the results of the March 3rd Super Duper Tuesday are affecting the race in light of changing economic conditions, global trade pressures, and evolving demographics.  Moreover, the race for the Presidency is also about important national and sub-national elections affecting the future direction of our country and relationships with other nations. Less than eight months before this important election takes place, the country is locked into a fierce battle between President Trump and his political opponents.

This talk examines the ramifications of the impeachment process and the dynamics affecting political actors and institutions as the process of elections unfolds.  Additionally, we will analyze how changing demographics, money, and issues such as the economy and foreign policy all join to determine election outcomes.

Dr. McCuan was a Fulbright Teaching Scholar in 2009-2010, working in the Department of International Relations and European Studies, Masaryk University, Czech Republic where he taught courses in US National Security Policy, Terrorism, and US Foreign Policy.  His doctorate was granted from the University of California – Riverside in 2002.

For our reservation and cancellation policy, please click here.

WACSC is a member of

World Affairs Councils of America

Up ↑