The Road to November Exploring America’s Challenges on the way to Election 2012

“The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government.”

~Franklin Delano Roosevelt

The Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College is proud to present The Road to November: Exploring America’s Challenges on the way to Election 2012, a programming series dedicated to exploring and engaging the nation’s challenges preceding the November 2012 Presidential election. Inaugurated by the March 14-15 LBJ Presidential Symposium, The Road to November will feature panel discussions, lectures, book discussions and debate watch parties and will culminate on election night, November 6, 2012.  This year, election night falls nearly 80 years to the day from FDR’s first electoral victory, which he celebrated right here at Roosevelt House.

Distinguished guests and faculty members will present a diverse array of topics in which they will offer insight and historical perspective to issues of today, as well as invite debate by engaging the student body and the broader community in the democratic process. We look forward to seeing you at an event in the near future.

Programs in the Series:

  • Thursday, November 1, 2012 @ 5:00 PM: Terra Nova:  The New World After Oil, Cars and Suburbs. Book Discussion with Eric W. Sanderson, moderated by Bill Solecki

    Siren monsters have been singing to Americans for decades, and we have found their song persuasive, beautiful, often irresistible, even though it is at the root of so many of our problems.  War, disease, pollution, social disintegration, and economic collapse have all been the result.  Despite our best intentions, oil, cars, and suburbs have become our modern American Sirens.

    In his new book to be published by Abrams in the spring of 2013, Eric W. Sanderson (Senior Conservation Ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society, and author of Mannahatta:  A Natural History of New York City, Abrams, 2009) presents the history of the Siren Song, showing the inter-twined connections between oil, cars, and suburbs, and suggests how we can build a new world out of the failed promises of the old.  His vision is to create a new self-reinforcing cycle that will restore a balance between land, labor, and capital, and lay the groundwork for a strong and democratic America to last for centuries to come.

  • Monday, October 29, 2012 @ 6:30 PM:  Challenging Choices: Education Policy and the 2012 Presidential Election. Panel Discussion moderated by David Steiner.

    While many Americans are concerned about the state of our public education system, and polls show that education is an important issue to voters in swing states, our presidential candidates have avoided addressing the topic in depth.   Roosevelt House’s upcoming panel discussion, Challenging Choices, will present the conversation we should be having in the run up to the 2012 election.  Moderated by David Steiner, Dean of the Hunter College School of Education, and featuring lead policymakers and educators Sarah Almy, Elizabeth Dickey, and David Weiner,  the panel will discuss hot-button issues in teacher  accountability, teacher preparation and the persistent achievement gap.   Panelists will especially focus on value-added evaluation models, and teacher preparation regulations recently implemented in many states.

  • Friday, October 26, 2012 @ 2:00 PM: Presidential Platforms:  What Are They? What Do They Say About a Candidate? Do They Really Matter?
    Presidential party platforms are intended to educate voters to make informed choices by serving as a guide to each party’s priorities.  But what do the platforms actually say?  And do they serve their intended purpose?   Hunter faculty members Howard Chernick, SJ Dodd, Pamela Falk and Lynn Roberts will lead a discussion about this year’s platforms and where the candidates themselves stand on key issues – with a special focus on job creation, health care, reproductive rights, LGBTQ policy issues and foreign policy.
  • Tuesday, October 9, 2012: “We are the 17%!” A Panel on Women in American Politics
    Women remain significantly underrepresented among elected officials in the U.S. – only 17% of Congress is made up of women. But this year a record number of women are running for seats in both the House and Senate. Moderated by Pamela Stone, this panel will explore perspectives on why there are still so few women in American politics.
  • Wednesday, September 19, 2012: Andrew Rasiej: The Impact of Media and Technology on the 2012 Election.  Moderated by Andrew Lund (Film and Media).

    Andrew Rasiej, founder and publisher of Personal Democracy Media and producer of the Personal Democracy Forum, discuss how technology and new media are affecting the political landscape, and in particular, how they are shaping the 2012 Election.  In the video below, Rasiej was introduced by Julia Kohn, Interim Director of the Public Policy Program at Hunter College.  The conversation and public Q&A was led by Professor Andrew Lund, Director of the Integrated Media Arts (IMA) Program at Hunter College.

  • Wednesday, September 12, 2012: Your Power to Decide: Millenials and the 2012 Election – The Youth Vote and Civic Engagement

    Your Power to Decide: A Panel Discussion on Young Voters and the 2012 Election brought three distinguished guests who are working on various initiatives to enable and empower the youth vote. The program provided information to young and first-time voters, not only about the basics of the electoral process and voter registration, but also about topics such as the impact of the media on voter opinion, policy issues that are critical for young voters, and how young voters can productively engage in the democratic process. The panelists discussed the power of the youth vote, the importance of youth mobilization, and how the current economic and political climate has impacted young voters’ perspectives and desire to engage in the electoral process. Jason Rzepka introduced MTV’s Fantasy Election online game which launched the previous day and is already garnering applause and attention from all sides of the political spectrum. 

  • Wednesday, September 5, 2012: The Betrayal of the American Dream: Discussion with Authors Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, moderated by Richard Tofel

    Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, authors of the recent book, “The Betrayal of the American Dream” in conversation with ProPublica General Manager Richard Tofel.

  • Monday, August 20, 2012: Geoffrey Kabaservice Visiting Fellow and Author of Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, in conversation with Ed Rollins

    In Rule and Ruin, Kabaservice reveals that the moderate Republicans’ downfall began not with the rise of the Tea Party but about the time of President Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell address. Even in the 1960s, when left-wing radicalism and right-wing backlash commanded headlines, Republican moderates and progressives formed a powerful movement, supporting pro-civil rights politicians like Nelson Rockefeller and William Scranton, battling big-government liberals and conservative extremists alike. But the Republican civil war ended with the overthrow of the moderate ideas, heroes, and causes that had comprised the core of the GOP since its formation. In hindsight, it is today’s conservatives who are “Republicans in Name Only.” In this insightful and elegantly argued book, Kabaservice contends that the decline of moderates has left Republicans less capable of governing responsibly, with dire consequences for all Americans.

  • Tuesday, July 24, 2012: The Dictator’s Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy. Book discussion with William Dobson, moderated by Jonathan Fanton.

    A conversation with William Dobson, author of the recent book, “The Dictator’s Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy.”

    About the book: in this riveting portrait of authoritarianism in peril, acclaimed journalist William Dobson takes us inside the relentless battle between dictators and the people challenging their rule. We are witnessing an incredible moment in the war between dictators and democracy—waves of protests are sweeping Syria and Yemen, and despots have fallen in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya. But the Arab Spring is only the latest front in a worldwide battle between freedom and repression, a battle that also rages in a dozen other countries from Venezuela to China, Russia to Malaysia…

  • Tuesday, April 24, 2012: A Discussion with Bob Edgar, President of Common Cause

    Bob Edgar is President and CEO of Common Cause, a national nonpartisan group dedicated to strengthening democracy by working to make government at all levels more open and accountable to the people. He also served six terms in the US House of Representatives representing the Seventh Congressional District of Pennsylvania. Edgar discussed two of Common Cause’s signature projects: AMEND2012, an effort to build constitutional support to overturn Citizens United and, which addresses the work of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to influence public policy through model legislation that is widely shared among state legislators…

  • Tuesday, June 26, 2012: Film Screening of “Service: When Women Come Marching Home” with Panel Discussion featuring filmmakers Marcia Rock and Patricia Lee Stotter

    Women compose 14% of today’s military forces. That number is expected to double in 10 years. “Service: When Women Come Marching Home” introduces the issues faced by this wave of mothers, daughters and sisters as they return home. The film portrays the courage of women veterans as they transition from active duty to their civilian lives, including the horrific traumas they faced, their invisible as well as physical injuries and all their challenges in receiving benefits and care. From the deserts of Afghanistan to rural Tennessee, from Iraq to New York City, we watch these women wrestle with prosthetics, homelessness, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Military Sexual Trauma. After the film screening, a panel including film makers Marcia Rock and Patricia Less Stotter discussed the many health and safety issues facing women in the military, the inadequacy of existing policies and legal regulations, and possible solutions. Co-Sponsored by Professor Barbara Glickstein, Co-director of the Center for Health, Media and Policy at Hunter College

  • Tuesday, May 15, 2012h: Book Discussion with Andrew Polsky, Author of “Elusive Victories: The American Presidency at War”

    Andrew Polsky is a Professor of Political Science at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center and a former editor of the journal Polity. In Elusive Victories: The American Presidency at War, Polsky provides a fascinating study of six wartime presidents, drawing larger lessons about the limits of the power of the White House during armed conflict. He examines, in turn, Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, showing how each gravely overestimated his power as commander-in-chief. He discussed presidential leadership during wartime, highlighting the key dangers that presidents have ignored at their peril…

  • Tuesday, May 8, 2012: Ira Shapiro, Author of “The Last Great Senate: Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis” in Conversation with Peter Osnos

    Ira Shapiro is a lawyer and author. He has held senior staff positions in the U.S. Senate working for Senators Gaylord Nelson, Abraham Ribicoff, Tom Eagleton, Robert Byrd and John D “Jay” Rockefeller. In a conversation moderated by Peter Osnos, Shapiro discusses his latest book The Last Great Senate: Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis, a historical portrait of the statesmen who helped steer America during the crisis years of the late 1970s. Using that historical narrative as a reference, Shapiro explores whether the solutions of that time are applicable to the challenges of today…