Upcoming 2020 Programs

The 2020 General Election: Chaos, COVID, and Crisis

Friday, October 2

4:00 pm via Zoom on your computer, tablet or phone

Anna Grzymala Busse Reservations

Dr. David McCuan, Professor and Chair of Political Science at Sonoma State University

We are pleased to present Dr. David McCuan, Professor and Chair of Political Science at Sonoma State University, to speak with us about one of the most critical choices we face this year – the upcoming November 2020 election.

Will the Democratic party fuse moderate and progressive impulses? Will the Republicans find new voices to lead the redefinition of the party? Since the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, everything has changed – or has it?

In his inimitable style, Dr. McCuan will analyze the role of demographic changes, the influence of money and other issues, as well as how presidential campaign dynamics affect results up and down the ballot.

Dr. McCuan’s scholarly expertise rests in two broad areas-American politics and International Relations. His doctorate was granted from U.C.- Riverside in 2002. McCuan was a Fulbright Scholar in 2009-2010 and served as a Shusterman Fellow, 2014-2015, Summer Program in Israel Studies, Brandeis University.

Professor McCuan does extensive commentary and has had multiple media appearances, providing analysis of campaign dynamics and elections results to international, national, regional and local media outlets.

Leanna Breese, Sponsor

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Meet Leanna Breese
WACSC Board Member

Leanna Breese has made many contributions as a valuable Board member. We asked her to share highlights of her life and work with us.

Leanna writes:

I grew up in Iowa City, Iowa. Intriguing places I wanted to see and experience seemed all too far away. I attended the University of Iowa, and the summer after my junior year I traveled, with a girlfriend, to 13 European countries. That trip settled it — no way would I stay in Iowa after I graduated!

So, with a BBA in accounting, I moved to San Francisco — to me, the most European city in the US I worked for Price Waterhouse (now Price Waterhouse Coopers) for six years, getting my CPA during that time. I wanted to stay in San Francisco, but with a company whose values and products I respected. I decided on Levi Strauss, and worked there for the next 23 years (along the way earning my MBA from UC Berkeley). At Levi’s, I moved from finance to operating divisions, and managed development and production for a number of products. But I wasn’t done traveling. In 1993 I went to Prague as General Manager of Levi Strauss International’s affiliate for the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

This was a truly fascinating time to be in Eastern Europe. Czechoslovakia had liberated itself peacefully from the Soviet Union in 1989, in what was termed the Velvet Revolution. There were a lot of entrepreneurial folks ready to make a difference as soon as the Soviets were gone.

Click here for more about Leanna…

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Save The Date

NEW DATE: Thursday, October 22: “Public Funding of Elections” presented by
Joanna Zdanys and Hazel Millard of the NYU Brennan Institute

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What else is going on in the world?

I’m so glad you asked! Here are a few interesting articles on our international neighbors:

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What is the European View of the USA?

A survey that was commissioned by the Berlin-based European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) think tank and conducted by Datapraxis and YouGov produced some interesting (and possibly surprising) results.

The survey was done at the end of April and the first week of May, and included nine EU countries which together account for two-thirds of the bloc’s population.

Click Here To See the Survey

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Update on China

For one person’s view, read Fareed Zakaria’s 6/25 opinion piece in the Washington Post: China Has Been Bungling its Post-Coronavirus Foreign Policy.

Click Here To See the Article

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Book Suggestion:

WACSC’s Book Group recommends: Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents;
by Isabel Wilkerson. This Pulitzer Prize–winning author examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America. This is an Oprah’s Book Club selection.

Note: If you have read any of our book suggestions or have a recommendation of your own, please send us a book review. We would love to hear from you. wacscca@gmail.com

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And, a timely quote:

“The speed of communications is wondrous to behold. It is also true that speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be untrue.”

— Edward R. Murrow

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