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Political Intelligence

Saturday, April 27, 2019

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


Program Details


8:30 am Library Johnson Room 

Opening Reception hosted by AFSCME Council 4 
featuring our Elected Officials

Breakout Session One 

mmigration in the Age of Trump  

With the rise of Donald Trump and anti-immigrant rhetoric in our world, immigration has become an increasingly divisive issue in our country. 

In this program, we will speak with students regarding their experiences talking about immigration at college”. 

Presented by The ECSU College Democrats and Freedom at Eastern.

Medicare for all?  What’s on the Healthcare Horizon… 

Willimantic’s State Representative Susan Johnson is one the foremost experts in our Legislature on Healthcare. 

She will share her knowledge on the most current conversations in Hartford, and what’s on the horizon.

Susan graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University, and worked as an advocate for Medicare beneficiaries at Connecticut Legal Services and at the Center for Medicare Advocacy for almost twenty years. During that time, she attended the Western New England College, School of Law.  Currently she works in the Willimantic-based private practice law firm O’Brien & Johnson with her husband, Dennis O’Brien.

Representing the Quiet Corner 

Our State Legislators will discuss what they have learned about communicating Democratic ideas in our rural and red-trending districts. This is a great opportunity to pick up some pointers for our upcoming Municipal Elections.

Featuring State Representative Pat Boyd, State Representative Pat Wilson Pheanious and State Senator Cathy Osten.

Breakout Session Two

What’s Next in Battling Gun Violence  

Jonathan Perloe and Terra Volpe from Connecticut Against Gun Violence will discuss their legislative agenda and other upcoming actions.

From its inception, CAGV has organized grassroots lobbying efforts combined with its own expertise and strong relationships with elected officials to advance its legislative agenda. CAGV led the grassroots effort to ban assault weapons (1993); to implement the first Extreme Risk Protection Order (aka “risk warrant”) in the country (1999); to require reporting of lost and stolen firearms (2007); to require background checks for all gun purchases and to purchase ammunition, to further expand the assault weapons ban and ban large capacity magazines (2013); to prohibit subjects of domestic violence temporary restraining orders from possessing firearms (2016) and to ban bump stocks (2018).

The Green New Deal 

Recently tapped by the Lamont Administration to be Senior Advisor to the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, former State Representative James Albis will discuss The Green New Deal – and what it means to Connecticut.

The Green New Deal (GND) is a proposed stimulus program that aims to address climate change and economic inequality, The Green New Deal combines Roosevelt's economic approach with modern ideas such as renewable energy and resource efficiency.

The Existential Struggle of Unions and Workers 

State Representative Mike Winkler will moderate a round table discussion (including Sal Luciano, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO) on the state of unions in Connecticut. 

Union leaders will discuss recent court cases affecting unions as well as the expected upcoming battles.

Breakout Session Three 

Protecting and Advancing Democracy in America  

Deputy Secretary of the State Scott Bates will discuss his office’s agenda to increase voter turnout and protect our election systems.

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.

A New Race-Class Narrative

As epitomized in the 2016 presidential election, dog-whistle racism, anti-immigrant rhetoric, and white populism have continued to make gains in our political narratives. This session will outline cutting-edge research from the Demos' Race-Class Narrative project, which is developing an exciting and data-driven narrative that ties race and class together in an alternative way.

.We'll explore how to use this new narrative that helps people, including voters, envision a multiracial country where everyone has economic opportunities. We'll learn more about the research, study effective language and communication tactics, and put it into practice! This session will be run by Sarah Ganong, political director of Connecticut Working Families Party. 

The Intersection of Social Media and Politics 

Greg Shimer of Rebel Interactive will discuss how social media is playing a growing impact on all elections – and how we can stay ahead of the curve. 

Greg has extensive experience in both local and statewide politics, and blends this with the digital expertise of Rebel Interactive, whose corporate clients include such as CIGNA, Citigroup, Charter, and The Connecticut Lottery. 

"Brown Bag Keynote Lunch"

The State of the Nation 

with Sam Gejdenson

Congressman Sam Gejdenson
, in addition to his current role on the National Democratic Institute (NDI) Board of Directors, served the people and communities of eastern Connecticut in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981 to 2001. Gejdenson, who served as the senior Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, worked to promote U.S. exports, further the causes of human rights and peace around the world, and ensure that U.S. trade policy reflected fundamental American values about workers' rights and environmental protection. During his tenure on the International Relations Committee, Congressman Gejdenson authored comprehensive legislative initiatives aimed at assisting American companies in accessing foreign markets and boosting American exports, including the International Anti-corruption and Good Governance Act. 
Throughout his tenure in Congress, Gejdenson stood as a leader on human rights and democracy, ensuring that U.S. foreign policy reflected the values and compassion of the American people.  He is known throughout the world for his efforts to curb international trafficking of women and children and promote self-help programs for the poor through micro-credit assistance.  Gejdenson served as a point person in Congress on Middle East issues, visiting the region on numerous occasions and working with Presidents from Reagan to Clinton and heads of state from across the region to bring about a lasting peace.   Reflecting his family origins, Gejdenson took a strong interest in building democracy in Eastern Europe and nations of the former Soviet Union. 
Today, Gejdenson taps his high-level contacts from across the globe as he heads his international consulting firm, Sam Gejdenson International (SGI).  He continues to serve as a positive force for international democracy, participating in high level election monitoring delegations that include Belarus, Peru, Georgia and Ukraine and many other countries under the banner of the National Democratic Institute (NDI)