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Symposium on citizens' role in govt.'s fiscal health


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The Center for California Studies at Sacramento State will host a free public symposium, “When a Good Thing Goes Bad: The Fiscal Danger of Misinformed Local Public Engagement,” on Wednesday, June 5, in downtown Sacramento. The goal is to begin a conversation about the impact of public engagement – voting and volunteerism, for instance – on a local region’s financial sustainability.

Cal Studies Symposium

“This symposium will explore the connection between democratic participation and the fiscal health of local governments,” says Steve Boilard, executive director of the Center for California Studies. “While there are many welcome efforts to increase democratic participation, there has been less attention to the quality of that participation. Do local citizens have a good sense of the issues and trade-offs involved in local taxation and spending issues? How easily manipulated are local voting preferences? We hope this symposium will facilitate a robust discussion about these issues.”

Peter Detwiler, a lecturer in Sacramento State’s Department of Public Policy & Administration and longtime chief consultant to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee, will moderate a panel discussion featuring Yolo County administrator Patrick Blacklock; Pete Peterson, executive director of the Davenport Institute; Stockton City Councilmember Kathy Miller; and Marcia Fritz, former president of the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility.

In addition, David Barker, director of the Institute for Social Research, and Kim Nalder, director of the Project for an Informed Electorate, both based at Sacramento State, will present survey research.

The symposium is 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, at the California State Association of Counties’ Conference Center, 1020 11th St., Sacramento. A free lunch will be served. The event is supported in part by the California Debt & Investment Advisory Commission.

Register by Friday, May 31, at For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Office of Public Affairs at (916) 278-6156.

– Dixie Reid