Laguna Beach Democratic Club hosts Kevin O’Leary on April 17

“No one expects autocracy and authoritarianism to happen in their country until it’s too late.” This is the urgent warning from Kevin C. O’Leary, who will speak at the next Laguna Beach Democratic Club meeting on Wednesday, April 17 at 5:30 p.m. at the Susi Q Center.  O’Leary has formed a bi-partisan nonprofit that aims to put American democracy ahead of party preference.

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Courtesy of Kevin O’Leary

Dr. Kevin O’Leary’s topic at LBDC meeting: For pro-democracy to win, reach beyond the base

“It is that acute and important,” said O’Leary, co-founder and executive director of Saving Democracy (https://savingdemocracy.us). The nonpartisan nonprofit’s mission is to recruit, train and support patriotic Americans who engage with their associates and social circles to act as energetic evangelists for freedom and democracy. The group provides speakers for civic and business groups and encourages neighbors to talk to neighbors about the importance of electing leaders committed to protecting and upholding free and fair elections, the rule of law, and the Constitution.

O’Leary is a research fellow at UC Irvine’s Center for the Study of Democracy and lecturer in Political Science at Chapman University.  As a journalist, he was the lead West Coast reporter for TIME, a Los Angeles Times reporter and editor of OC Metro magazine. He has authored two books, Madison’s Sorrow and Saving Democracy: A Plan for Real Representation in America. A Coro Fellow in Public Affairs after college, O’Leary is a graduate of UCLA. He earned his doctorate at Yale.

In his recent book. Madison’s Sorrow: Today’s War on the Founders and America’s Liberal Ideal, O’Leary tells the story of American history as the ongoing struggle between our liberal democratic ideal – articulated by the founders and championed by both liberals and traditional conservatives – and illiberal, reactionary resistance. In so doing, the book explains how the party of Reagan became the party of Trump.

LBDC chair Peggy Wolff said, “This will be an eye-opening discussion, and one that I hope spurs every local voter to vital action in service to retaining our democracy when we go to the polls this November.”

Members and guests are invited to attend the free event where refreshments are included. The club welcomes new members, who may join the LBDC for $35 for the calendar year. Club members need not be registered Democrats – Independents may join – but Democratic Party registration allows only members to vote on club matters, including candidate endorsements. Visit https://thelbdems.com/ for more information.

General meeting speakers have included legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky, former Rep. Katie Porter, 47th Congressional District candidates Joanna Weiss and Dave Min, Peg Corley of the LGBTQ Center OC, then-Mayor Pro Tem Sue Kempf and Dr. Allyson Brooks of Hoag Women’s Health Institute.

Susi Q Center is located at 380 Third St., Laguna Beach.


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