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Why Resist when we can Lead?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
  4:30–6 p.m.

Location: CHASS Interdisciplinary Bldg South 1128
  Parking Information

Category: Seminar


Presidential orders, rule changes, tweets and alternative facts tumble pell-mell out of Washington these days. The values and principles we, as Californians, cherish most appear to be in the crosshairs. In fact, a dignified retirement, accessible medical care and affordable housing have come under increasing threat. Funds aimed at delivering meals to seniors face the budget axe to fund a wall which will come to symbolize a value shift so brutish and un-American that Lady Liberty will weep. The U.S. is forsaking its leadership mantle in the existential battle against climate change in a full-scale retreat to a mid-20th century reliance on coal, oil, and gas. Californians’ impulse response might be to resist. But why resist, when we can continue to lead? Resistance implies a reactive agenda and the abandonment of progress in order to hold one’s ground. It cedes too much to Washington’s dysfunction and only serves to embolden its disruptive tactics. California should, instead, embrace its historic role as America’s cradle of economic innovation, social progress, and trailblazing ideas. We should play our game, not the Beltway’s. What we do profoundly influences the nation and world. Just as UC Riverside is a living, breathing civics laboratory that enriches and delivers direct benefits to its surrounding communities, I want California to show America what it truly means to be great. We do that by leading the nation in the creation of jobs that pay a livable wage. And we will continue to do it by showing it is a realistic expectation that every Californian can enjoy a dignified retirement, affordable college tuition, and affordable housing. We will do it by not just talking a good game on climate change, but by finding a way to pay for what is now the imperative conversion from a fossil-fuel based economy to a carbon-free one. We’ll do it by showing how diversity in race, faith, sexual orientation, and ideology is a strength, not a cleaver to divide “us” from “them.” We Californians will cooperate where we can, resist when we must. But the rest of the time, we will simply do what we do best. We lead.

Open to: General Public
Admission: Free
Sponsor: School of Public Policy

Contact Information:
School of Public Policy
(951) 827-5656