It has recently been observed that by 2040, 70 percent of Americans will live in 15 states and thus 30 percent of Americans will choose 70 senators. That 30 percent will be older, whiter, more male and more rural. We currently live in a situation where in recent US Senate elections, 15 million more voters cast ballots for Democrats, and yet the Republicans control the Senate, White House, and the power to place justices on the Supreme Court and fill the federal courts. The panel will discuss the ways in which the conservatives have maintained power despite their minority status. We will discuss how voting power is apportioned in the Senate, and how the right has been able to better maintain message discipline and focus on a few key issues to keep their base active and engaged, and whether there is any lessons progressives can learn from them. Reviewing the immigration policies also lays bare the fact that since it is a function of the executive branch, there has been little difference in many of the deportation policies of Obama and Trump.
However, the latest moves by the Trump administration have the most impact in California, which has the highest number of undocumented residents, including dreamers. A review of immigration laws demonstrates that laws passed in the Clinton administration expanded the policies for deportation, including the purported crimes for which legal immigrants could be deported. The current group of Democrats in Washington show little desire to engage in political action with respect to immigration which is regarded of little value to the large swath of independent voters whose support Democrats need to increase their representation in Congress. As a result, the Democrats become complicit in minority rule policies.
Brett Pike, Ken Brucker, and Rosemary Lemmis
Saturday, 5 to 6:15 p.m.
Brett Pike is a PhD candidate in plant biology at UC Davis, where he is developing new lettuce varieties that can assist farmers in adapting to a warming climate. A recovering Libertarian and native of Atlanta, his politics gradually migrated towards Socialist while living, working, and studying in Seattle and Amsterdam. Today, he eschews labels and prefers to focus on pragmatic policies, such as single-payer healthcare and universal basic income.
Ken Brucker is a second generation Californian. He was born and raised in San Diego.. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from U.C. Santa Barbara and an associate degree from Coleman College. Ken has worked in both retail and software development industries.
Rosemary Lemmis resides in West Hollywood, California, and works at a small law firm in Calabasas, Caliifornia. She is an active volunteer in the community development area at Public Counsel. She is a graduate of Brown University, received her law degree from the University of Southern California. She is also a co-founder of Women Lawyers Mean Business, a website devoted to providing referrals, resources, support and inspiration to women entrepreneurs, women seeking to start businesses and women who are leading businesses.