Back to All Events

Is There Hope for Democracy? A Discussion with Sam Farr, Adrienne Harris, Zach Friend, and Spencer Critchley

After a presidential election like no other, democracy faces challenges like never before.

Government institutions, the free press, the judiciary, the integrity of the election itself — all face doubt and even attack, from both foreign and domestic sources.

These are the very foundations of self-rule, and those foundations have been shaken. Increasingly, Americans, among others, are losing hope for democracy — with unprecedented numbers even questioning whether we need it.

What’s the way forward?

This discussion will be an opportunity to hear the unique perspectives of leaders with national and local experience in government, politics, the law, and media — and to ask your own questions. You're invited to join us, free of charge.

Former Congressman Sam Farr represented the Central Coast in the House of Representatives for 24 years, following service in the California Assembly, on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, and in the Peace Corps. His record of accomplishment includes the creation of CSUMB, Pinnacles National Park, the VA Hospital in Marina, the Central Coast Veterans Cemetery and much more.

Adrienne Harris was a Special Assistant to President Obama for Economic Policy at the White House National Economic Council. Before that she was with the U.S. Treasury Department, New York-based Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, and election campaigns for Barack Obama, Senator Cory Booker, and Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance, Jr.

Zach Friend is a policy, public affairs, and communications expert who has worked for Barack Obama and John Kerry’s presidential campaigns, the White House Council of Economic Advisers, U.S. Senate, Congressman Sam Farr, and the Democratic National Committee. He is the 2nd District Supervisor for Santa Cruz County.

Spencer Critchley is a communications consultant whose experience includes both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, stories for the CBC, NPR, the AP and others, and audio production for the Emmy-winning PBS documentary “Blink.” He is the Managing Partner of Boots Road Group, a communications firm for governments, nonprofits, and socially responsible corporations.

Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Time: 7 - 9 p.m., doors open at 6:30
Location: Irvine Auditorium, Middlebury Institute of International Studies
Address: 499 Pierce St., Monterey 93940
Admission: Free, but please register to guarantee your place.

Presented by the Boot Road Institute, a nonprofit educational project supported by Boots Road Group LLC.