“Pandemic Politics: The Deadly Toll of Partisanship in the Age of Covid”

No, we’re not done with the Covid pandemic – Covid is not done with us. It’s quite instructive to do examine a comprehensive list of parts in the politics of the pandemic, like before the next pandemic or crisis ensues. Sara Wallace Goodman, UCI political science professor talks about her new book out entitled, “Pandemic Politics: The Deadly Toll of Partisanship in the Age of Covid; How the politicization of the pandemic endangers our lives-and our democracy,” co-written with Shana Kushner Gadarian and Thomas Pepinsky, published by Princeton University Press. Sara Goodman’s team was the first to collect and analyze national survey data asking Americans about their health behaviors and attitudes.

Music credits: Chimora, “African Americano,” Sounds of Africa- album; The Elovators, “People Go,” Defy Gravity – album.


Live To Pay Another Electric Bill

For the whole hour are: Esperanza Veilma, executive director of Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, Dave Rosenfeld, of the Solar Rights Alliance, each bringing useful insights about trends and policies pertaining to electricity distribution. The recent CA Public Utility Commission’s recent ruling has set deadlines for grandfathering solar rooftop panels by 4/14/23. As we continue covering this utility sector, OCPA included, listeners can follow the developments with: https://ceeetruth.org/ and https://solarrights.org/.

Music credits: Chimora, “African Americano,” Sounds of Africa- album; and Hunrosa, “Ransome” Ransome -EP.


Artistic Treasures At Year’s End

As we close out this year together, a treat from two performing arts artistic directors. First, the retiring artistic director of America Ballet Theater, Kevin McKenzie offers the long view of his 30 years leading that internationally acclaimed dance company. In the second segment (minute 29:08), South Coast Repertory artistic director David Ivers reflects on coming back full throttle in this season, and offers early next year’s “Voices of America;” two plays in conversation with each other – Little Foxes and Appropriate.

Music credits: Chimora, “African Americano,” Sounds of Africa- album; Carlos Simon “Amen;” The Scott Oakley Trio, “Greensleeves,” Jazz for the Holidays – album.


Cleaning Rooms in Irvine’s Inns

This close to the lore of Mary and Joseph looking for room at any inn, today we look at how workers are faring as they keep clean our hotels. For the whole program Austin Lynch, director and negotiator at Unite Here Local 11; and Maria Balderas, union member and rank and file leader, working at the Irvine Hilton – cover the working conditions for hotel staff as well as Irvine’s recently adopted workers protection ordinance, the first of its kind in Orange County. For those Irvine voters, who have signed the petition circulating to revoke the ordinance, who wish to retract their signatures, they can text 562-688-5867 for instructions. The document to complete is: https://www.unitehere11.org/wp-content/uploads/Irvine-Referendum-Petition-Signature-Withdrawal-Form-00420418xB613E.pdf

Music credits: Chimora, “African Americano,” Sounds of Africa- album; Groupo Nueva Vida, “Las Posadas,” Alabanzas Cristianas Que Llegan al Alma, Vol. 6


The Latest on Huntington’s Disease Research and Treatment

Returning to the show is the world renown investigator on Huntington’s disease, Dr. Leslie Thompson. Accompanying her is Melody Bandley, advocate for her husband and other patients, for advances in Huntington’s Disease research and care. Details on ongoing search and care are available at: https://hdcare.org/. For additional legislative actions that support HD care: https://hdsa.org/news/hdsa-reintroduces-the-hd-parity-act/.

The bonus interview with American Ballet Theater’s retiring artistic director Kevin McKenzie, that was not broadcast on this program, is now available in a separate podcast on this same date. He appears in Orange County during the current run of The Nut Cracker performed at now through December 18th at the Segerstrom Hall.

Music credits: Chimora, “African Americano,” Sounds of Africa- album; and Bill Beach, “Dreams Deferred,” Letting Go – album.


Kevin McKenzie’s Gracious Bow As Artistic Director of the American Ballet Theater

American Ballet Theater’s retiring artistic director Kevin McKenzie reviews his 30 years of leadership with the company. Topics include the arc of a dancer’s career, comparisons between the scourges of AIDS and COVID, Russian connections, art education in America, and the baton he hands off to incoming director Susan Jaffee. Mr. McKenzie appears in Orange County during the current run of The Nucracker performed now through December 18th at the Segerstrom Hall, https://www.scfta.org/shows-events.

Music credits: “Amen,” composed and conducted by Carlos Simon.


Ethnic Studies Rocks the Classroom AND America’s Unsafe Roads; With and Without the Pandemic

Emily Penner, professor at the UCI School of Education, returns to the show to speak to the theme of “pedagogy not politics of ethnic studies.

In the second segment (minute 31:06), Caron Whitaker, Deputy Executive Director of the League of American Bicyclists, talks about road safety as we move through the pandemic – looking at you exceptional USA, with our scary trend of raised fatalities bucking the global decline. The continuation is in the second link entry on this day.

Music credits: Chimora, “African Americano,” Sounds of Africa- album; Richie Havens, “Peace Train;” and the Gershwin Piano Quartet, “American in Paris.”



Gambling, Problem Gambling, Especially on College Campuses

In the aftermath of California voters weighing in on Propositions 26 and 27 dealing with gambling, for the full hour Brianne Doura-Schawohl, advocate, consultant, and lobbyist speaks about problem gambling, across the nation, including on college campuses. She contributed extensively to the recent N Y Times 4-day series about the high stakes gambling enterprises, a thorough exposé about the asymmetry of resources and power. If gambling is a problem, support is available by calling 1-800-GAMBLER, (800-426-2537), or text “SUPPORT” to 533242 to get more information about problem gambling behavior.

Music credits: Chimora, “African Americano,” Sounds of Africa- album; Gerardo Frisina, “The Obsession,” Modern Latin Jazz = album.


Largest Campus Strike Takes Root in UC System AND Presenting “Actually” at The Wayward Artist

Since “Ask A Leader” listeners can walk and chew gum, you all can continue watching 2022 midterm election results while we take on local union activity. Organizers with the UAW and the UC-AFT on UCI campus have just started a strike, joining 48,000 UC system wide with grievances aplenty among those in lecturing and researching roles, https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/reinstate-fired-lecturers-respect-the-union-contract-restore-justice. Guests include: Nick Maurer, lecturer awaiting re-appointment; Mia Villegas, lab project coordinator and academic workers’ UAW recording secretary; and in absentia, Honora St. Clair, UC-AFT 5810 field representative; and . Returning to the show in the second segment (minute 29:26), is Craig Tyrl, artistic director of The Wayward Artist. He’s got a play this month, a gala next month, and a new season next year.

Music credits: Chimora, “African Americano,” Sounds of Africa- album; Sportive Tricks, “Working Man,” Tricks of the Trade – album; Billy Bragg “There is Power in the Union,” Talking with the Taxman about Poetry – album; Sportive Tricks, “The Working Man,” Tricks of the Trade – album.


Ask A Voter – Midterm Elections 2022

Welcome to the Nov 8, 2022 edition of “Ask A Voter.” We made it, today is the Midterm Elections 2022. As our tradition goes, this program morphs into Ask A Voter. On general elections we fan out across the nation. This year we visit battleground states; heading from the east going west. We open with Ngozi Nnaka, mental health care counselor in Macon, GA and Dawn Walker, non-profit consultant in Athens, GA (minute 1:46). In the next segment (minute 13:13) is Tamina Rawls, retired trauma care professional, now fully a political organizer, based in Detroit, MI. We move on to Madison, WI with Sue Jones, water management retiree, returning with her canvassing experience (minute 20:26). Next is UCI earth system science Ph.D candidate and KUCI public affairs host, Audrey Odwuor (minute 31:40). Closing out the show, staked out in Yuma, AZ is journalist/writer/attorney Sharon Lieb, reporting on her canvassing and poll-watching activities (minute 42:44). They pack this hour with intention and insight, all in the thick of campaigns across the nation!

Music credits: Aaron Copeland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, Leonard Bernstein conducting New York; Charlie Haden/Liberation Music Orchestra, “Blue Anthem,” Not In Our Name – album; Berklee We Will Rise Summit, “Lift Every Voice.”