American politics, and democracy itself, are seemingly in crisis amid today’s hyper-partisanship, legislative gridlock, and growing public distrust of government. Consensus, in partnership with the Kansas City Public Library, examines that dysfunction and how to address it.
Nick Haines of KCPT-Kansas City PBS moderates a panel discussion of what’s working and not working – in our country and others – on Monday, June 11, at 6:30 p.m. at the Library’s Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St. Among those joining him:
· Woody Cozad: Lobbyist with Cozad Company Government Relations. He served as chairman of the Missouri Republican Party from 1995 to 1999, a period in which the party coordinated key campaigns to shift control of Missouri’s congressional delegation to Republicans for the first time in the state’s history.
· Patrick Miller: Assistant professor of political science at the University of Kansas. He concentrates his study on political behavior, public opinion, and elections, teaching courses on political parties and partisan polarization.
· Irene Caudillo: President and CEO of El Centro, Inc., a nonprofit that provides educational, social and economic services for Hispanic families in the Kansas City area. It recently received a grant from the Kansas Health Foundation to implement year-round voter/civic engagement for individuals new to the political process.
· Greg Orman: Entrepreneur and political independent running for Kansas governor. He has worked with other independents and groups, including the Centrist Project, to break the two-party duopoly and encourage the election of more independent candidates.
The public is invited to join the conversation during a deliberative forum two weeks later, on Monday, June 25. How do we tackle the varied and complex challenges buffeting our government process? What will it take to get our political machinery back on track?