OLLI Engages: Organizing for the Election
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown into sharp relief the consequences of an attack on science and government itself. Many among us are looking to the November 2020 election as an opportunity to mobilize for change. But, how? To what policy ends? In concert with whom?
This four-week discussion group led by Brian Murphy, president emeritus of De Anza College, will provide an opportunity for OLLI members to talk together about the election, to hear from organizers in the field about opportunities for engagement, and to share about their own experiences as election organizers.
Week 1 (July 15): Democracy in Peril: What’s at Stake? Our first meeting presents an overview of the sharp differences between the political parties, their very different policy agendas and constituencies, and their differing views of democracy.
Week 2 (July 29): Organizing and Elections: What are the concrete ways we can act before and during the election season? What are the opportunities for volunteering and the organizations seeking volunteers? What have been our experiences with this kind of work?
Week 3 (Aug. 12): The Demographics of the Election: Who votes and Who Seeks to Vote? What national electoral alliances are required for a democrat to win, or a republican to win? What does this mean for choosing where to put ones political energy.
Week 4 (Aug. 26): Down ballot: what’s at stake below the presidential vote? What California races and propositions are in play, to which ends? What is the proposed prop 13 amendment, and who is on which side?
Brian Murphy is President Emeritus of De Anza College and an associate in Berkeley's Center for Studies in Higher Education. Murphy taught political theory and Urban Politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara University, and San Francisco State University, where he directed the San Francisco Urban Institute.