LA TIMES - Essential Politics

The Los Angeles Times: Essential Politics

A Post-Election Symposium

The Los Angeles Times

What just happened? President-elect Donald Trump.

For the last 18 months, Los Angeles Times reporters have been traversing the nation to bring you the news of this historic election. Our USC Dornsife/LA Times poll stood out from other polls as it predicted an unexpected surge of disenfranchised voters who could favor Trump.

Join our journalists, pollsters, elected officials and other key political thinkers for a discussion on what the Trump presidency will mean for the nation and the Golden State.

We'll discuss California's increasingly important role as a policy leader in the nation, what it means to be a Democratic stronghold in the face of a Republican-controlled government and the impact on California and Los Angeles.

Local elected leaders and strategists will also join the conversation. The program also includes a special video presentation featuring a year-in-review of LA Times Editorial Cartoonist David Horsey's cartoons and all ticket-holders will receive a signed copy of his upcoming book, "Top of the Ticket."

The symposium will conclude with a beer and wine reception featuring speakers and invited guests. We hope you will join the conversation.



California State Senator

In 2014, California State Senator Ben Allen was elected to represent the 26th Senate District, which consists of the Westside, Hollywood and coastal South Bay communities of Los Angeles County. Allen serves as Chair of the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee and the legislature's Joint Committee on the Arts. He is a member of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, the Budget Subcommittee on Education, and the Committees on Natural Resources and Water, Transportation and Housing, and Veterans Affairs. For three years prior to his election to the Senate, he was a lecturer at UCLA School of Law, where he taught education law and policy.


Mayor of San Diego

Shortly after taking office as Mayor of San Diego, Kevin L. Faulconer began implementing his vision for "One San Diego," a unified city with an inclusive city government that creates opportunities for San Diegans and delivers results for every neighborhood. In his first two budgets, Faulconer has focused on repairing neighborhoods and bringing more equality to community services. Faulconer has also made significant changes to make city government more inclusive, efficient and effective. He appointed the first female police chief in San Diego history. Working with labor unions, he created an incentive program called San Diego Works that rewards employees for money-saving ideas. He also kicked off a major overhaul of the city's website that will make it more user-friendly.


Former Secretary of Commerce and United States Trade Representative

Mickey Kantor, formerly Secretary of Commerce and United States Trade Representative under President Bill Clinton, is a partner in Mayer Brown LLP, an international law firm headquartered in Chicago. Based in the firm’s Los Angeles office. Kantor served as National Chair for the Clinton/Gore ‘92 campaign and as a member of the Transitional Board of Directors. He has a long history of public service, including membership on the Christopher Commission, which was formed in the aftermath of the Rodney King beating in Los Angeles. During the Carter Administration he was on the board of the Legal Services Corporation. Kantor has been a board member of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Center for Law in the Public Interest, the California Commission on Campaign Financing and was the founder of the Los Angeles Conservation Corps.


Managing Director, SKDKnickerbocker

Bill Burton, Managing Director, SKDKnickerbocker Los Angeles, is a strategist who has served as a senior adviser to political leaders, corporations and nonprofits in California, Washington, D.C., and around the country. Burton was one of the first hires on President Obama’s first presidential campaign where he was the national press secretary beginning in January 2007. He served in the Obama administration as deputy White House press secretary and special assistant to the president. Most recently, he co-founded and served as senior strategist for the super PAC Priorities USA Action during President Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012. During the 2006 electoral cycle, Burton worked as Rahm Emanuel’s communications director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Before that, he served as a communications adviser to Rep. Dick Gephardt, Senators John Kerry and Tom Harkin and others


Political strategist and media consultant

Bill Carrick is a strategic and media consultant for candidates and ballot initiatives in California and nationally. The Founder of Carrick Consulting, Inc., his clients have included: Senator Dianne Feinstein’s campaigns for governor and U.S. Senate, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and former President Bill Clinton. In the 2016 election cycle, Carrick's clients included Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez’ campaign for US Senate, Kathryn Barger for L.A. Board of Supervisors and the ballot measure campaign for the Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan, Measure M. He also worked as an on-air political analyst for ABC’s "This Week," CNN and KABC-TV.


Partner SCN Strategies; former 
Los Angeles Deputy Mayor

A former Los Angeles Deputy Mayor and longtime state and national communications consultant, Sean Clegg has directed winning media campaigns for California's top candidate and initiative campaigns. As partner at SCN Strategies, Clegg works on a variety of advertising, strategy, messaging, and communications projects for a range of elected officials, candidates, ballot measure campaigns, nonprofits, private companies and individuals. In recent years, he has led award-winning TV, radio, online, print, direct mail and outdoor advertising campaigns for clients including Gov. Jerry Brown, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris.


Survey Director, USC Dornsife

Jill E. Darling joined USC’s Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) in 2016 as Survey Director for the Understanding America Study. Darling is also a Research Health Scientist at the Veterans Health Administration Health Services Research and Development Center for Healthcare Innovation, Implementation, and Policy (CSHIIP). Previously, Darling served as CSHIIP’s Survey Director and was Associate Director of the Los Angeles Times Poll (later Times/Bloomberg poll). The LA Times polling unit conducted more than 400 surveys over two decades on a wide range of topics and earned multiple awards.


Los Angeles Times Politics Reporter

Mark Z. Barabak covers state and national politics for the Los Angeles Times, based in San Francisco. A reporter for nearly 40 years, Barabak has covered campaigns and elections in 49 of the 50 states, including all or part of the last 10 presidential campaigns and dozens of mayoral, gubernatorial and U.S. Senate contests. He also reported from the White House and Capitol Hill during the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations.


Los Angeles Times Assistant 
Managing Editor, Politics

Christina Bellantoni has been Assistant Managing Editor, Politics since August 2015. She came to the Los Angeles Times after 12 years covering politics in Washington, most recently as editor-in-chief at Roll Call. Before that, she served as political editor at “PBS NewsHour” for two years. She has covered the White House, Congress, the 2004, 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, and the Virginia statehouse. Bellantoni, a California native, is vice president of the board of the Washington Press Club Foundation.


Los Angeles Times Writer

Cathleen Decker analyzes politics for the Los Angeles Times, writing about the themes, demographics and personalities central to the contests. She is covering her 10th presidential campaign, and has covered seven races for governor and a host of U.S. Senate and local elections. She also directed The Times’ 2012 presidential campaign coverage.


Los Angeles Times Assistant 
Managing Editor, Politics

Michael Finnegan is a politics writer at the Los Angeles Times. Since joining the Times in 2000, he has covered elections for president, governor and mayor. His current beat is the Donald Trump campaign. In 2011, Finnegan and fellow Times reporter Gale Holland won the Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism for articles on rampant waste in the $6-billion rebuilding of Los Angeles community colleges. A Los Angeles native, Finnegan started newspaper work at the Hudson Dispatch in New Jersey. 


Los Angeles Times Politics Reporter

Seema Mehta is a political writer for the Los Angeles Times. She covered the 2012 and 2008 presidential campaigns, as well as gubernatorial, Senate and mayoral races. A graduate of Syracuse University, the East Coast native swore when she joined The Times in 1998 that she would only spend a few years on the Left Coast. Many years, a husband, a house and a few cats later, Seema can’t imagine living somewhere she couldn’t golf year-round.


Los Angeles Times
Sacramento Bureau Chief

John Myers joined the Los Angeles Times as Sacramento Bureau Chief in 2015 after more than two decades in broadcast news, much of that as an award-winning reporter covering statehouse policy and politics. His unique online projects included everything from one of Sacramento's original politics blogs to California’s first politics podcast. He also served as the moderator of gubernatorial debates in 2014 and 2010. Cited by state and national news organizations as one of Sacramento's top journalists, he's a graduate of Duke University and the University of California, Berkeley.


TICKET DESCRIPTION: Each purchased ticket includes a signed copy of LA Times Editorial Cartoonist David Horsey's upcoming book, “Top of the Ticket.” Horsey's book will not be released until after the event. Please provide a mailing address when purchasing your ticket(s) and your book(s) will be mailed to you. All tickets include post-event wine and beer reception.

Associated Images: 

THU 11/17
3:00 pm

G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff