Tuesday, February 16th, 8pm, Bridges Hall of Music (Little Bridges)
Overcrowded prisons, declining funds for public education, and budgetary disaster are just a selection of issues that plague the state of California today. As the most populous state and greatest economic contributor to the United States, California has often served as a model for other states considering reform in areas ranging from energy to education. Though there have been many attempts to rectify the California budget, the deficit still stands at an estimated $20 billion. Are California’s problems unique to California? How did the state get into this situation? Would a constitutional convention affect California’s governance and operations? Or is California simply ungovernable?
The Pomona Student Union is proud to announce that leading experts Dan Walters and Thad Kousser, along with former California governor Gray Davis, will be participating in a panel discussion to explore these issues. Please join us on February 16th at 8pm in Bridges Hall of Music (Little Bridges).
Dan Walters is a columnist with the Sacramento Bee and an expert on California politics. He has been a journalist for more than 40 years, working almost exclusively for California newspapers. At age 22, he was the nation’s youngest daily newspaper editor. In 1981, he began writing the state’s only daily newspaper column devoted to California political, economic and social events. In 1986, Walters published The New California: Facing the 21st Century, which has since become a widely used textbook about socioeconomic and political trends in the state. He is also the founding editor of the California Political Almanac, and co-author of The Third House: Lobbyists, Money and Power in Sacramento. Walters is a frequent guest on national television news shows commenting on California politics.
Thad Kousser is a political science professor at University of California, San Diego and received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. He researches legislative politics and political regulation and is an expert in the areas of comparative American state politics and California politics. Kousser has written on topics including term limits, legislative professionalism, reapportionment, campaign finance laws, the recall, and health care policy. His forthcoming book, Term Limits: Undoing the Professionalization of American State Legislatures, is based on his 2003 dissertation that won the William Anderson prize awarded by APSA. He serves as co-editor of the journal State Politics and Policy Quarterly, and has worked as a staff assistant in the California, New Mexico, and United States Senates.
Gray Davis served as California’s 37th Governor from 1999 until being recalled in 2003. Prior to serving as Governor, Davis served as Chief of Staff to Governor Jerry Brown, California State Assemblyman, Controller, and Lieutenant Governor. Davis holds a BA in history from Stanford University and a JD from Columbia Law School. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his service as a Captain in the Vietnam War. During his time as Governor, Davis made education his top priority and California spent eight billion dollars more than was required under Proposition 98. Davis also signed the nation’s first state law requiring automakers to limit auto emissions. On October 7, 2003, he became the second governor to be recalled in American history. Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger succeeded Governor Davis after the election. Since being recalled, Davis has worked as a guest lecturer at the UCLA School of Public Affairs and as an attorney at Loeb & Loeb.