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School of Public Policy Hosts Politics & Pandemic Series

American Flag and COVID-19 test tubes

Pepperdine School of Public Policy (SPP) is hosting various virtual events through Zoom—the rapid-growing online platform bringing people together during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic—titled "Politics & Pandemic." In the midst of this pandemic, SPP is staying at the forefront of communication with keynote speakers focusing on the state and local perspective, Washington DC's perspective, how the pandemic has influenced the 2020 election, and much more. 

The first virtual event was held on April 16, 2020, with alumnus David Mansdoerfer (MPP '11), former deputy assistant secretary for health at the US Department of Health and Services (HHS). Joining this webinar as a moderator was SPP associate professor of public policy, Michael Shires. This online event was titled "The Federal Government's Response to COVID-19." The audience engaged and participated in this discussion while learning about the inner workings of Washington's emergency management processes in this unprecedented crisis—how it's worked effectively and where it demands improvement for the future.

Watch The Federal Government's Response to COVID-19.

The second virtual event featured Pete Peterson, Braun Family dean, presenting on "COVID-19 and the Calling to Public Service." In a time as uncertain as we are living in, this virtual discussion was geared toward prospective students and the importance of a career in public service. Drawing from past personal experience, having lived in New York at the time of 9/11, he talked about how his life is not where he once thought it would be. However now, he is the dean of a graduate policy school, leading the next generation of future leaders in this world. 

Watch COVID-19 and the Calling to Public Service.

The third virtual event was led by SPP's political communications faculty member, Dan Schnur. His discussion titled "The 2020 Election and the Pandemic," spoke about the implications of the COVID-19 crisis across the country and how it will affect the 2020 elections. In this engaging discussion, he challenged participants to consider the pandemic's effects on uniting or dividing America. Additionally, Schnur talked about how voters will judge President Donald Trump's handling of COVID-19 versus economic growth and how democratic candidate Joe Biden can be heard during the pandemic. 

Watch The 2020 Election & The Pandemic.

The next Politics & Pandemic virtual event will take place next week, Tuesday, May 19, 2020, at 12:30 PM (PT). Titled, "The Pandemic Hits Home: COVID 19, Local Government, and the Four Horsemen of the Fiscal Apocalypse," Rick Cole, former city manager of Santa Monica, will lead an important conversation about what a "Post-Pandemic World" may look like for America's cities and local governments. Cole will address these vital questions:

  • In describing the pandemic era as the "Four Horsemen of the Fiscal Apocalypse" (cratering revenues, neglected infrastructure, pension debt and community need), what's the path forward for city governments against these challenges?
  • What kind of leadership is needed in these times?
  • What are the roles of elected officials and city managers?
  • What role is there for the private sector, civic organizations, and academics?
  • What are the biggest threats to ward off and what are the biggest opportunities to seize in these times?

Register for The Pandemic Hits Home: COVID 19, Local Government and the Four Horsemen of the Fiscal Apocalypse.