Voters Wanted: Californians Decide Ballot Initiatives to Shape the State
Saturday, October 15, 2022
10:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Once again, California voters will be expected to decide upon candidate races—from local offices to federal—as well a large number of ballot initiatives. How can we be best informed for so many decisions?
Join us in Calabasas for the free "lunch and learn" about the various ballot measures and top political races. This fast-moving agenda that will include the latest polling data on Californians' views of our election system and the initiative/referendum process. It will be a "Civic Saturday" event!
Chloe Edwards is a second-year student at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy (SPP). She is specializing in American politics and policy and state and local government. Edwards graduated magna cum laude from Azusa Pacific University in 2020 with a bachelor of art in English. She played on the Women's soccer team and was an editor for the school's literary magazine, The West Wind. This summer she interned for the James Wilson Institute, a nonprofit think tank founded by Hadley Arkes and centered on studying, spreading, and understanding natural rights and law. She is currently the communications intern at the Liberty Justice Center, a non-partisan public interest litigation firm focused on protecting the Constitutional rights of the American people. Edwards hopes to work within the nonprofit sector after her graduation on both a state and federal level.
Eric Green is a second-year student at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy (SPP). He is specializing in American politics along with the state and local Policy track. He is from Newport Beach, California, and enjoys engaging in education issues, especially anything related to career and technical education. He graduated from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor's in sports management. When he graduates from SPP, he hopes to work in education issues at the local level of government, on the K–12 level.
Lacey Kestecher is a second-year student at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy (SPP) where she is specializing in applied economics and American policy and politics. Hailing from New Jersey, Kestecher graduated from Binghamton University with a bachelor of science in finance. She is currently a research assistant at SPP and has previously interned with the Leadership Institute, the Daily Caller, and the Manhattan Institute.
Clare McKenzie is a Duke University graduate currently earning her master of public policy at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy (SPP). She has experience researching and lobbying for international sustainable water policy and is motivated by the potential of public policy to mitigate the impacts of climate change upon the most vulnerable communities in America. During her time at SPP, McKenzie interned for both Los Angeles Waterkeeper and the Sierra Club, researching stormwater policy solutions for California, coordinating beach cleanups, and grassroots organizing. McKenzie hopes to continue her career in environmental policy after her 2023 graduation.
Braun Family Dean's Chair
School of Public Policy
Pete Peterson is the dean (Braun Family Dean’s Chair) of Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy, and a leading national speaker and writer on issues related to civic participation, and the use of technology to make government more responsive and transparent. He was the first executive director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement at the school and continues to lead public sector training programs for the Institute. He has co-created and currently co-facilitates the training seminar, "Public Engagement: The Vital Leadership Skill in Difficult Times" a program that has been attended by more than 4,000 municipal officials, and he also co-created and co-facilitates the certificate program, "Leading Smart Communities: Creating a Better Future through Emerging Technologies”. He serves on the Leadership Council of California Forward, the Healthy Democracies Advisory Council organized by Public Agenda, and chairs the governance committee for the Public Interest Technology-University Network. Peterson was the Republican candidate for California Secretary of State in 2014.
Lani Romero is a second-year student at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy. They specialize in American politics and policy and state and local government. Romero is a graduate of California State University, San Bernardino, with a bachelor's in political science and a minor in pre-law. They have an article published in an upcoming book on Foster Care in America. This summer, they interned at Ismail Mediation Center. Romero hopes to work in the public sector, namely with casework.
School of Public Policy
Dan Schnur is a professor at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communications and the University of California, Berkeley, Institute of Governmental Studies. He has been teaching courses in politics, communications, and leadership since 1996 and has also taught at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management. He is the director for the "California Influencers" project, a statewide program in which 60 of the state's foremost experts in politics, policy, and government discuss the 2018 campaign. He is the founder of the USC/LA Times statewide political poll. Previously, Schnur worked on four presidential and three gubernatorial campaigns as one of California's leading political strategists and served as the national director of communications for the 2000 presidential campaign of US Senator John McCain and was the chief media spokesman for California Governor Pete Wilson. In 2010, Schnur was appointed chairman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), where he implemented groundbreaking campaign finance disclosure requirements. He also was a founder and cochairman of the Voices of Reform project, the bi-partisan statewide effort whose work laid the foundation for California's landmark redistricting reform. After completing his FPPC term, Schnur registered as a No-Party Preference voter and launched Fixing California, an organization dedicated to campaign finance and political reform.
In 2014, he ran for statewide office as a non-partisan candidate for California Secretary of State. Schnur has been an advisor to multiple foundations, trusts, think tanks, and a variety of K-12 education and college and workforce preparedness efforts. His commentaries have appeared in several newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Sacramento Bee, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. In addition, he has been an analyst and political commentator for CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and National Public Radio. He is a graduate of the American University in Washington, DC.
Aemon Viens is a Master of Public Policy candidate at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy (SPP). Before attending SPP, she attained her master of social work at California State University, Northridge. Viens worked as a mental health specialist for a homeless service provider and discovered her passion as an advocate for those experiencing homelessness. She decided to go back to school because she wanted to effect change on a policy level. She specializes in dispute resolution and state and local government. She currently works as a legislative deputy for Mitch O’Farrell in the Council District 13 City of Los Angeles. Upon graduation, she wants to work as a policy specialist for a nonprofit specializing in homeless service delivery.
Duo Zhang is a second-year student at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy. He graduated from the University of Richmond with a bachelor of arts in art history and economics. Zhang worked in China as the investment manager for infrastructure investment.
10:30 AM: Check-In
11 AM: Welcome and Opening Remarks
- Pete Peterson, Dean, Pepperdine School of Public Policy
- Dan Schnur, Adjunct Faculty, Pepperdine School of Public Policy
11:30 AM: State ballot measures Presentations
- Prop 1—Chloe Edwards
- Prop 26—Lani Romero
- Prop 27—Duo Zhang
- Prop 28—Eric Green
- Prop 29—Clare McKenzie
- Prop 30—Lacey Kestecher
- Prop 31—Aemon Viens
Noon: Lunch Proposition Q and A
- Pete Peterson
- Dan Schnur
1 PM: Closing
- Pete Peterson