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About the series

The Division of Social Sciences is pleased to host a series of Election 2020 lectures, panels and student events. Division faculty are committed to supporting student learning via civic engagement and facilitating discussion of the critical issues facing the electorate.

The Election 2020 series is open to the public and encourages participation regardless of political affiliation.

For more information, contact SSCI@plu.edu.

Election 2020

Michael Artime, Assistant Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science

In this talk, we will explore the current state of the presidential race, the critical issues at the center of the contest, and what to watch out for in the final days of the campaign.

Northwest Now - October 16 Election Roundtable

What to expect of an election taking place during an unprecedented pandemic? Michael Artime (Assistant Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science) is a featured panelist on this edition of Northwest Now. Dr. Artime, a member of the KBTC election team, discusses important statewide and national races.

DACA's Betrayal and the 2020 Presidential Election

Maria Chavez, Professor, Department of Political Science
Wendy S. Martinez Hurtado, School of Law, University of Washington (PLU Alumna Political Science and Hispanic Studies)

Dr. Chavez will address the contextual background and provide an overview of how 3.6 million undocumented children were raised in the United States. Ms. Martinez Hurtado will share her personal story and describe how the recent U.S. Supreme Court DACA decision has impacted her life. The session will conclude with the significance this election has on DACA.

Economics, Health Care, and the 2020 Election

Larry Deal, MD, Family Practice Physician (PLU Alumnus Economics and Biology)
Bruce Deal, Managing Principal, Analysis Group (PLU Alumnus Economics and Global Studies)
Amber Rieke, MPH, Director of External Affairs for the DC Health Matters Collaborative (PLU Alumna Religion, History and Women’s and Gender Studies)
Amy Spieker, Director of Community Health and Analysis at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center’s Institute for Population Health (PLU Alumna Economics and Political Science)
Karen Travis, Professor and Chair, Department of Economics
Michael Artime, Assistant Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science

Panelists will discuss the current state of healthcare in the United States including issues of access, cost, and public policy from a variety of perspectives. How the election result will shape health care going forward will also be discussed.

The Influence of (Motivated) Belief on Political Issues

Corey Cook, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

How do our pre-existing beliefs (political, religious, or otherwise) influence our perceptions of political candidates and topical issues? Most people consider themselves to be rational decision makers who draw conclusions based on reasoned judgment. However, research from cognitive science suggests that we may in fact do the opposite; we first form beliefs, then interpret information in belief-consistent ways. In this talk, Dr .Cook will introduce the idea of “belief-dependent” reality, then provide examples in which motivated reasoning leads to skewed perceptions of important issues and increases partisan divisions. Dr. Cook will end the talk by providing recommendations for recognizing our own biases and for being better evaluators (and distributors) of important information.

Climate Activism and Election 2020

Sunrise Tacoma  – Dylan Ruggeri, Mackenzie Knapp, and Peyton Noreen
Facilitator: Michael Artime, Assistant Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science

In this session, PLU students affiliated with the Sunrise Tacoma movement will discuss climate activism and their understanding of the stakes of the 2020 presidential election.

Stolen Goods: History of Racism in America (People's Gathering 2020)

Beth Kraig, Professor, Department of History 

“Stolen Goods” frames some ways to tell and name the history of racism in the U.S., based on my understanding of James Baldwin’s call for us to learn that history fully and name it truthfully.  I have long been concerned about concepts like “white privilege” creating a softer, euphemistic language that may bend the truth of racism away from its full impact.  I am asking folks to think very serious about how they name the truth, and how they can commit to understanding and dismantling racism through historical lenses.

My central questions in both research and teaching have concerned how to grasp, even dimly, the forces of dehumanization and the ongoing forces of resistance to all efforts to degrade and discriminate against “the Other.”  I’ve looked at racism, sexism, antisemitism and Islamophobia, and antiqueer prejudices, among other forces of dehumanization.  I’ve tried hard to listen to the stories of those supporting and those resisting such forces.

Economic Inequality and the 2020 Election

Laura McCloud, Associate Professor,  Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice

Extreme economic inequality is a defining characteristic of contemporary America. Yet, even as the very rich move further and further away from the rest of us, economic inequality remains a low priority for most voters when polled about their key issues. This does not suggest, I argue, that economic inequality is inconsequential to our political actions. In this talk, I’ll highlight ways economic inequality covertly manifests in political concerns and discussions. I’ll link key issues of voter concern to economic inequality and discuss how issues of economic distribution divide our major political parties.

How Elections are Run and Won: A Behind-the-Scenes Alumni Panel

Sponsored by Alumni and Student Connections
Shannon Murphy ’07, Aaron T. Sherman ’11 and Barbara Gilchrist ’20
Moderator: Zach Powers ’10

A panel of PLU alumni who collectively have managed and advised dozens of winning political campaigns in Washington state will share from experience how campaigns are run on the local, regional and statewide levels. Their discussion will include topics like campaign messaging, fundraising, community mobilization, debate prep, endorsements and much more.

State of Washington Lt. Governor Debate

Bernadette Calafell, Professor & Chair of Critical Race & Ethnic Studies, Gonzaga University
Matthew Loveless, Clinical Assistant Professor, The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University
Amy Young, Chair of Communication & Theatre at Pacific Lutheran University
Riley Dolan, Statewide Student Engagement Coordinator with the Washington Student Association
Moderator: Michael Artime, Assistant Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science
For more information about the debate visit the Real Race for WA (COMA 215) website.

Leading up to the Lt. Governor’s debate, we have an excellent live webinar planned that includes very insightful commentators discussing the debate, the state of local media, and the landscape of state and local politics in Washington.

Click here for a debate rubric.