Election 2020 Issues



10:00 am-11:30 am


7/15, 7/22, 7/29, 8/5, 8/12, 8/19

Six Sessions

This course is offered online via the free, easy-to-use Zoom program.

The 2020 election brings many issues into sharp focus. From the economy and immigration to climate change and voting rights, this course explores hot button issues with a different speaker leading the discussion each week.

July 15: Peter Bluhm on Climate Change: The Science, The Options, The Politics 

The slides are available here: Climate Change 2020 07 15.pptx

July 22: Alisa Costa on Economic Class and Voting Access in the 2020 Election 

The slides are available here: Poverty and Elections.pdf

July 29: John Dickson on Immigration and the Difficulty of Reform 

The slides are available here: Immigration2020election.pptx

August 12: Ed Lane on  Key Economic Factors Bearing on the Election 

The slides are available here: OLLI Election 2020.pdf

August 18: Gordon Josephson on The ACA and Beyond – Where Are We Going, What’s Next

The slides are available here: OLLI - ACA and Beyond - Summer II - Election 2020.pdf

August 19: Jeffrey Mann on Voter Suppression: An American Tradition – Is There a Lasting Solution? 

The slides are available here: Presentation re Voter Suppression.pdf

Introductory Remarks: Initial Thoughts re Voter Suppression.docx

Speakers include:

Peter Bluhm,  J.D., Albany Law School; held a variety of positions in Vermont state government; retired President of Berkshire Telecommunications Consulting; past President of OLLI at BCC.

Alisa Costa is the Working Cities Initiative Director at Berkshire Bridges.  She has more than 20 years experience in health and social justice policy and advocacy, and is an expert in community and systems change.

John Dickson served 26 years in the U.S. Foreign Service, with assignments in Nigeria, South Africa, Peru, Mexico, and Canada, as well as in Washington DC.  He is active in local history projects in Pittsfield while continuing international work through two Peace Corps alumni organizations: Encore de la Paix and the Peace Corps Community for Refugees.  He holds degrees in history from Princeton University and the University of Massachusetts. 

Gordon Josephson, MD, MPH is a retired former emergency physician (1977- 1997) and Chief Operating Officer (1997-2015) of Baystate Medical Practices (600 physicians and advanced practice clinicians).  In addition, he was part of a multispecialty practice within Baystate Health in Springfield, MA.  

Ed Lane is a retired actuary and has a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Finance from the University at Albany (SUNY) where he is now an Adjunct Professor of Finance and Economics.

Jeffrey R. Mann received his J.D. degree from Temple University in 1968. Until 2016, he practiced law as a litigator in New York City.  For the last 20 years of practice he principally represented clients in international business disputes in the chemical, mining and oil and gas industries. He has lectured on comparative law and international law issues in several countries and participated in many conferences and symposia on these and other matters. He is a member of the Bars of New York and Massachusetts. 


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