Saturday, February 13, 2010

Please Join Me; Feb. 22 in Sacramento for Free Lunch Event on Initiative Process

The New America event, "What Does California's Initiative Process Mean for the World?" takes place at noon at the CSAC Conference Center, 1020 11th Street, 2nd floor. It's free -- and lunch will be provided.

You can reserve yourself a seat here. And an event description follows. If you're not in Sacramento that day, please check out the web cast at

California is hardly the only place where voters, through initiative and referendum, make important decisions about government. As the state struggles with persistent budgetary and political problems, the world has been watching, with a combination of wonder and horror. What do direct democrats around the world think as they look at California? What might California learn from the world about its direct democratic system? And what might the rest of the world learn from us?

Please join one of California's most successful and experienced political strategists and one of the world's foremost experts on initiative and referendum as they exchange questions and answers during a special forum on how California's initiative process fits into the world.

Gale Kaufman of Kaufman Campaign Consultants, a veteran of some of the state's most important initiative campaigns who was once described by activist-actor Warren Beatty as "silver-tongued," will assess the past, present and future of California's initiative process. How has it changed? What are its strengths? What are its weaknesses?

Bruno Kaufmann, president of the Initiative & Referendum Europe and co-organizer of a major global forum on direct democracy this summer in San Francisco, will talk about California's role as inspiration - and albatross -- for a global expansion of direct democracy that has reached more than 100 countries.

Please join Kaufman, Kaufmann, and New America's own Joe Mathews, as moderator, for a wide-ranging conversation extending from the current debate over California constitutional reform to a new transnational initiative process being devised by the European Union to the growth of direct democracy in Asia, where Kaufmann recently completed a six-month tour.


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