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Democracy Wise

Democracy Wise

Vroman’s is proud to announce Democracy Wise, a non-partisan speaker series designed to educate on topics of key importance
to our democratic system, community, and country.

Upcoming Democracy Wise Events: 

Wednesday, April 18, 7pm
Immigration Law

USC Professors Join us as USC Professors Niels Franzen and Jean Reisz give talks on immigration law & immigrant rights - in history and as they stand today. 


Wednesday, April 18, 7pm
 Join us as USC Professor Christian Grose joins us to speak on the topic of gerrymandering. Professor Grose will be speaking about the origin of gerrymandering (how did it get its name?!), partisan gerrymandering and redistricting, in general.



If you plan on attending these events, please let us know at rsvp@vromansbookstore.com.
Send us your name, number of guest(s) and note the title of the event(s) you will be attending.

If you would like to submit a question for our speakers ahead of time please email your question to jramos@vromansbookstore.com with the session title in the subject line. Our speakers will do their best to address the questions during their talks; however, depending on the amount of questions
received they may not be able to get to them all.

If you have ideas for future topics for our Democracy Wise series please email jramos@vromansbookstore.com.

All Democracy Wise events will take place at the
Vroman's Main Store
695 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91101

Past Democracy Wise Events: 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Democracy 101
Is your high school government class a vague memory? Do you find yourself Googling terms after reading a news report?

USC Professors Christian Grose  (Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy) and Allison Dundes Renteln (Professor of Political Science, Anthropology, Law, and Public Policy) will present a mini-refresher course on our democratic system.
They’ll answer questions like:
What is the Electoral College? What is a PAC? What is an executive order?
As well as taking questions from the audience.

Monday, March 13, 2017
Effecting Change in Government

Whether you’re fighting city hall or advocating for sweeping social change, history has proven that one person can make a difference. And our ability to do so is a cornerstone of our democracy.  So how do you make your voice heard? How can you make a difference?
Representatives from the Pasadena’s League of Women Voters join us to speak to this topic and answer questions like: Do petitions work? Is it better to call or write your representative? Does it make a difference when you do? What is the effect of a march? How do you “fight city hall” locally? How do we as citizens influence policy and effect change? We will also be taking questions from the audience.

Speakers from the LWV-PA will include:
Dorothy Keane,  President elect  LWV-PA
Donovan Steutel,  LWV-PA  Advocacy Director
Sally Hoover,  LWV-PA  Board member

For more information on the League of Women Voters visit their website at http://lwv-pa.org/
Tel: 626-798-0965 Fax: 626-798-0966 Email: office@lwv-pa.org

Thursday, March 30, 2017
How to Run for Office

Whether you’re hearing the call to represent your community and make a difference in our community or just interested in learning more about the process, join us for a discussion about opportunities to run for office, the best first steps, and what it really means to serve.
Lindsay Bubar will be joining us for this session. Lindsay Bubar, Southern California Program Director of emerge California, is a Los Angeles-based political consultant who is best known for her work recruiting, training and advising women and progressive candidates as they run for office.
This event will take place at the Vroman's Main store location:
695 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91101

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Navigating Media

Is the continued talk of fake news leading you to wonder what news sources you can trust? Do you wonder how best to research and/or discern what’s real from what’s not? What role does the media play in today’s political landscape?
What is the media’s role and responsibility in a democracy?

USC Professor Tom Hollinan (Professor of Communication at the USC Annenberg School) and
Carmen Rios and Lauren Young from Ms. Magazine (a non-profit media outlet) will be on hand to discuss and answer questions.

About the Presenters: 

Carmen Rios is currently the Digital Editor at Ms., Managing Editor at Argot Magazine, and a Contributor at Everyday Feminism. She also co-hosts THE BOSSY SHOW, a political podcast for young women. Previously, she was the Feminism Editor, Social Media Co-Director, and Community Director at Autostraddle; a blogger and activist with the SPARK Movement; a writer at Mic; and Managing Editor of THE LINE Campaign blog. Her work has appeared at BuzzFeedBITCHElixHERMEL, and Feministing, among others. Carmen’s successful work for nearly a decade in digital feminism—as a writer, social media maven, and activist leader—has earned her the titles of “digital native,” “intimidating to some,” and “vapid and uninteresting.” 

A Los Angeles native, Lauren Young joined Ms. magazine as an editorial intern in 2016. In addition to feminism, Lauren is also passionate about U.S. politics and international relations, and is a lifelong lover of books. Lauren holds a Bachelor’s degree from Smith College, where she double majored in Government and Russian Civilization, and a Master’s degree in European and Russian Studies from Yale University. Follow her on Twitter  @thatlaurenyoung.

Thomas Hollihan is a professor of communication at the USC Annenberg School. 
Professor Hollihan publishes in the areas of argumentation, political communication, media diplomacy, contemporary rhetorical criticism, and the impact of globalization on public deliberation. He is the author of several books including: The Dispute over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands: How Media Narratives Shape Public Opinions and Challenge the Global Order, Uncivil Wars: Political Campaigns in a Media AgeArguments and Arguing: The Products and Process of Human Decision Making (with Kevin Baaske), and Argument at Century's End: Reflecting on the Past and Envisioning the Future. In addition, Hollihan has published in the International Journal of Communication, Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Argumentation and Advocacy, Communication Quarterly, Western Journal of Communication, Southern Speech Communication Journal, Controversia, Speaker and Gavel, Debate Issues, andGlobal Media and China.

Professor Hollihan served as the associate dean for academic affairs in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism from 1997-2007.  He currently chairs the Executive Committee of the USC US-China Institute.  He has also served as the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Debate Tournament, president of the American Forensic Association, president of the Western Forensic Association, chairman of the National Communication Association's Doctoral Education Committee, chairman of the Committee on International Discussion and Debate, and chairman of the National Debate Tournament Committee.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Civil Liberties

Civil Liberty: the state of being subject only to laws established for the good of the community, especially with regard to freedom of action and speech. Do you know what your civil liberties are? What a police officer or other government official can ask and not ask of you? What individual rights are protected by law from governmental or other interference?

Hector Villagra (Executive Director of the ACLU of Southern California), Tamara Haywood (Vice President of the ACLU of Southern California Pasadena Foothills Chapter), and Kris Ockershauser (Former Chapter President and Police Practices Committee Chair) will be on hand to speak on civil liberties and answer your questions.