The Weekly Roundtable: Assessing Public Policy Priorities for the Biden Administration *SOLD OUT* Date: Monday, May 10, 2021 Time: 4:00 pm-5:30 pm Location: via Zoom Fee: $60
This weekly discussion group will focus primarily on assessing public policy priorities for the Biden Administration. The purpose is to stimulate informed discussion and debate about a range of domestic and foreign policy issues currently confronting the country and the world as a new presidential administration gets underway. The sessions will be less about reinforcing views we already have than deepening our understanding of the complex tradeoffs decision makers in the new administration must consider when addressing some key issues at the forefront of the public policy agenda. Prior to each meeting the moderator will distribute brief readings pertaining to the topic, along with a few discussion questions. Enrollment is limited. Moderated by Roger Leeds.
The Health of Democracy and the Role of Political Journalism Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2021 Time: 5:30 pm-7:00 pm Location: via Zoom Fee: $15
Journalism, especially political journalism, may be under assault, but its enshrinement in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is in no danger. Political reporters witness what citizens can’t and tell stories that can change laws, leaders, and our lives. A native of Vermont, Garrett M. Graff’s political reporting captures the zeitgeist of our nation through his writing on the mechanics and machinations of American government and political hot button topics. In this talk for GMALL, Graff will draw on his reporting experiences, and a distinctive body of work, which blends breaking news national political reporting and deep examinations of U.S. government institutions and latter 20th century American political history.
The State of Commercial Aviation Date: Tuesday, June 29, 2021 Time: 5:30 pm-7:00 pm Location: via Zoom Fee: $15
After decades of strong growth, the commercial aviation sector was dealt two severe blows: the grounding of the Boeing 737MAX and a worldwide reduction in passenger traffic caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Airlines, aircraft manufacturers, their suppliers, maintenance and repair operations, and airport communities are suffering an estimated trillion-dollar loss of business. All have shrunk drastically, and some have ceased operations. We will discuss these two factors in turn. First, the MAX – what went wrong? What changes were made prior to recertification? What lessons have been learned? Second, the outlook for the recovery of passenger traffic – by region and on international routes. The timeline will be affected by the availability and effectiveness of vaccines, and international agreements regarding quarantine procedures.
The Politics of Nuclear Weapons Date: Tuesday, July 20, 2021 Time: 5:30 pm-7:00 pm Location: via Zoom Fee: $15
Whether we think about nuclear weapons or not, since the dawn of the nuclear weapon age in 1945 we have lived, and continue to live, under the nuclear shadow. This talk will focus not on the technical or military aspects, but on the politics: Why do countries have them, or not have them? What is their purpose, or purposes? What lies in the politics of keeping and updating them? Can we ever do away with them altogether? If so, how? If not, why not? What are the prospects of proliferation? What political efforts are being taken to curb them? And are such efforts successful? Political leaders must wrestle with these and other related questions and there are no easy answers.
Wrongful Convictions: Past, Present, and Future Date: Tuesday, July 27, 2021 Time: 5:30 pm-7:00 pm Location: via Zoom Fee: $15
Since 1989, when postconviction forensic DNA testing was first used to clear the innocent of crimes they did not commit, more than 2,700 people have been exonerated in the United States. A multitude of factors contribute to wrongful convictions including mistaken eyewitnesses, faulty forensic science, false confessions, government misconduct, inadequate defense lawyering, and more. In addition to exploring contributing factors, this talk will address the consequences of wrongful convictions for exonerees and the broader community. How do exonerees navigate life after exoneration? How is society harmed when actual perpetrators of crimes remain free to commit more crimes while the innocent are incarcerated? Finally, this talk will explore emerging issues in wrongful convictions.