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Political Intelligence

SUNDAY, APRIL 30, 2017

The ECSU College Democrats and The Quiet Corner Democrats present the third biennial "POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE" event - 
a FREE political issues forum. Over 20 experts discussing the most pressing political issues of today...

Please register by following this link, 

or call 860-931-1234 if you prefer to register by phone.

See below for details on the programs.
Note that the programs are subject to change and are evolving, so please check back for updates!!

Location:Eastern Connecticut State University, 83 Windham Street, Willimantic, CT 06226


  1:00 pm- 1:45 pm   Registration & Welcome Reception with Elected Officials - 
                                    Hosted by AFSCME Council 4 and The Quiet Corner Democrats
   2:00 pm - 3:00 pm   Breakout Session One
   3:15 pm - 4:15 pm   Breakout Session Two
   4:30 pm - 5:30 pm   Keynote Speaker Bill Curry


BREAKOUT SESSION ONE: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


SOCIETY – Islamophobia 

A lively presentation from Imam Aziz on a subject that should concern us all. 

Imam Sami A. Aziz is the founder of Common Ground Institute & Services, an Islamic consulting firm dedicated to educating the public on Islam and collaborating for peace. He also serves as the Chaplain for Wesleyan University and the Imam for Bloomfield Muslim Community Center.

WOMEN'S ISSUES - Reproductive Health and Rights 

Join Gretchen Raffa, Director of Public Policy & Advocacy of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, for a frank discussion on one of today's most vital political issues.

Planned Parenthood of Southern New England serves over 64,000 patients yearly for reproductive and sexual health services in 17 health centers across the state. As a health care provider and advocate, Planned Parenthood’s top priority is ensuring that all individuals have access to the health care and information they need, including the full range of reproductive health services, to make positive sexual and reproductive health decisions. 

JUDICIARY – Malloy’s Criminal Justice Reforms

Join Mike Lawlor for a discussion on Governor Malloy's Criminal Justice reforms - results and what's next.

Mike Lawlor became Under Secretary for Criminal Justice Policy and Planning on January 5, 2011.

Mike is on a leave of absence as a tenured Associate Professor of Criminal Justice in the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences at the University of New Haven. 

Prior to his appointment, Mike served twelve terms as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives representing his hometown of East Haven.  He was chairman of the Judiciary Committee from 1995 to 2011.

LEGISLATION - New Initiatives for Connecticut

Senator Ted Kennedy Jr. shares with us his vision of where the Connecticut Legislature should head.

Ted Kennedy, Jr. was first elected to the Connecticut State Senate in November 2014, and again in 2016, to serve the communities of Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison, and North Branford. Ted brings with him a wealth of experience in the private and public sectors. Ted received his Bachelor’s degree at Wesleyan University and graduated from the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He received his law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

In early 2014, Ted joined the national law firm of Epstein Becker & Green as a partner, working in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice. He advises health care providers, commercial insurers, and life science companies on critical issues related to health care reform policies. Prior to joining Epstein Becker & Green, Ted co-founded the Marwood Group, a leading healthcare-focused strategic advisory and financial services firm.

MEDIA - The Enemy of the American People??

From the NY TIMES, Feb. 17, 2017 : WASHINGTON — President Trump turned his speech before a conservative convention into a full-throated attack on journalism Friday, saying some reporters make up unnamed sources for "fake news" and again describing them as "the enemy" of the American people. "A few days ago I called the fake news the enemy of the people, and they are — they are the enemy of the people," Trump told the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

Join a distinguished panel of media experts as the discuss the administration's war with the media...


Christine Stuart, editor-in-chief of CTNewsjunkie.com, saw the evolution of the Internet as an opportunity to deliver news in new and interesting ways. She purchased the site in March 2006 from its founder, Dan Levine, and began reporting on state government and politics. Readership has increased each of the past 11 years. Before CTNewsJunkie, Stuart was a stringer for the New York Times between 2007 and 2009 and before that she worked at the Journal Inquirer for four years. She started her career as listings editor at the Hartford Advocate from 1999-2002  and before that was an intern at the Hartford Courant from 1996-98.

Patty McQueen is an experienced communications strategist and media spokesperson with a background in politics, journalism and corporate communications. McQueen worked full time on the 1992 and 1996 Presidential campaigns and inaugurations, and as a consultant on the 2000 Presidential campaign.  She served as a political and communications advisor to the Connecticut Speaker of the House and worked for more than 11 years in broadcast and print journalism.

Dr. Olugbenga “Chris” Ayeni lived in Nigeria where he worked as a journalist covering politics for decades. Following the award of the prestigious UK government-sponsored Chevening Fellowship, he proceeded to earn a graduate degree in Journalism from the University of Wales, while he also worked as a writer for the London-based West Africa magazine. He began his academic career in 1999, joined ECSU in 2002 and is currently Associate Professor of Communication.

The panel will be moderated by Patrick Gallahue, Communications Director at The Connecticut Secretary of the State.

BREAKOUT SESSION TWO: 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm 

 – Stand Up to Protect Healthcare!

This presentation will explore the progress and challenges of working to protect our health care system in a post-Obama world.  We are excited that Lynne Ide, Director of Program & Policy, Universal Health Care Foundation of CT, is able joining us!

Lynne Ide joined the Foundation in January 2006 to coordinate the healthcare4every1 campaign. She is responsible for the development, coordination and execution of the Foundation’s health care policy advocacy, outreach and education efforts, consumer engagement, convening partners and grant-making strategy.

Under her leadership, the Foundation’s healthcare4every1 campaign galvanized a broad-based coalition that pushed for the passage of landmark health care reform legislation which was passed into law in 2009. Prior to joining the Foundation, Ide served as Associate Director of the Connecticut Housing Coalition, Director of the Legislative Electoral Action Program (LEAP), and Director of the Connecticut Citizen Action Group (CCAG).

HUMAN RIGHTS – Facing Immigration Challenges:  


                             How Can We Stand in Solidarity


An interactive exhibition about the experiences of immigrants in our community and our nation. Will include education on the U.S deportation & detention system as well as challenges faced by local immigrant families and immigrant students. The goal is for all attendees will leave with an increased understanding of the issues and how to take effective action in solidarity with immigrants.

Presented by Connecticut Students for a Dream, and Freedom at Eastern.

FOREIGN POLICY –The World According to Trump

Where did Donald Trump's world view come from and where does he plan to take us?  Join national security expert and Connecticut's  Deputy Secretary of the State Scott Bates in a conversation about how Trump's worldview and actions are likely to spark crises that impact us all, and what we can do about it.

Scott Bates, has been on the ground in every war zone where American troops have fought in this generation. He has worked with elected leaders and activists alike to build democratic institutions and governance structures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, Haiti and the Persian Gulf. Bates has advised the Premier of South Australia and taught at the University of Pristina in Kosovo.  He has been a featured speaker on defense issues and international affairs at numerous national and international conferences.

After September 11th, Scott became the first Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee and was the principal author of “Winning the War on Terror” which helped inform the 9/11 Commission in its deliberations and development of its report. He helped lead the team that produced a dozen reports on homeland security issues ranging from border security to bioterrorism.  He continued work on national security issues as President of the Center for National Policy, a Washington DC think tank.

ELECTIONS – The Electoral College & NPV - Is it Coming Soon?

The National Popular Vote interstate compact would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The National Popular Vote bill has been enacted by 11 jurisdictions possessing 165 electoral votes—61% of the 270 electoral votes necessary to activate it, including four small jurisdictions (RI, VT, HI, DC), three medium- size states (MD, MA, WA), and four big states (NJ, IL, NY, CA). The bill has passed a total of 33 legislative chambers in 22 states—most recently by a bipartisan 40–16 vote in the Arizona House, a 28–18 vote in the Oklahoma Senate, a 57–4 vote in New York Senate, and a 37–21 vote in Oregon House.  A total of 3,055 state legislators have either sponsored or cast a recorded vote for the bill.


Chris Pearson, Vermont State Senator Sen. Pearson has been involved with National Popular Vote since before the project was public. He serves on the board and has been involved in several states adopting the bill, including New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Hawaii and his own state of Vermont.

Steve Winter, Citizen Activist

Steve Winter enjoys working with others to set up systems that affect social change. He's helped to found a housing cooperative, a food cooperative, and startups to support progressive organizations with outreach and organizing and to help states identify how to accelerate the transition to clean energy. With a background in business operations, for the past five years he has worked with Blue Dot Advocates, a boutique law firm to help support enterprises with positive social impact. As an organizer, he's helped with grassroots campaigns around affordable housing, climate action, and the national popular vote

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm 

Probably best know as the Democratic Candidate for Connecticut Govenor in both 1994 and 2002, Bill Curry began is political career at the ripe old age of 26 winning election as a State Senator. After 2 terms Curry practiced law and worked in public policy positions in Washington, D.C.  In 1990 he was elected state comptroller. Curry also served as Counselor to the President and domestic strategist in the Clinton White House. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Yale School of Management as well. 

After his public service career, Mr. Curry has enjoyed a sucessful career in media. He is a political columnist for Salon.com, wrote a column for the Hartford Courant, and is a frequent guest on NPR.

Mr. Curry will speak on the history of the Democratic Party in Connecticut, where we are today, and where we go next,

Please register by following this link

or call 860-931-1234 if you prefer to register by phone.