A Convening: Race, Reform, and Multiracial Democracy
September 21 – Day 1:
Breakfast Tribute to Professor Lani Guinier, 8-9am
Welcome Tribute to Professor Lani Guinier’s pioneering work on democracy, democratic reform, proportional representation and racial justice. Reflections on what we can learn from Professor Guinier in this current moment of racial justice and democratic reform.
An Introduction to the Most Prominent Electoral Systems, 9:15-10:45am
This session will discuss the most prominent electoral systems and their properties. The goal of this session is to provide an accessible introduction to non-experts and to establish a shared vocabulary to enable participants to evaluate the menu of potential options for reform in the U.S.
Social Choice, and Electoral System Design, 11am-12pm
This session will present a systems analysis perspective on elections, seeking to understand what it is that makes some voting systems work the way that they do. The overview will pull ideas from math, economics, and computer science, with a focus on how modeling can inform sound policy decisions.
Comparative Electoral Systems, 1-2pm
This session will focus on how alternative voting systems work in other countries. Using historical and contemporary examples from abroad, this session will participants understand and assess the trade-offs among different systems.
History of Electoral Reform as a Remedial Tool in Voting Rights Litigation, 2-3 pm
This session will explore electoral systems reform as a byproduct of voting rights litigation. Panelists will share examples of where electoral reform was used a litigation remedy and share their thoughts on the future and limitations of litigation as a tool for reform.
Voting Rights Problems Facing Communities on the Ground, 3:15-4:15pm
This session will explore the current problems that activists and lawyers are fighting for voting rights facing communities of color around the country and whether electoral systems reform is at all relevant to current challenges.
Electoral Reform and Communities of Color, 4:30-5:30pm
This session will explore how and where problems facing communities of color and electoral reform have intersected. Panelists will give their thoughts on some of the opportunities for electoral reform and impact on communities of color.
Cocktails and hor d’oeuvres, 5:30-6:30pm
Professor Kenneth Mack tribute to Professor Charles Ogletree
September 22 – Day 2:
Breakfast Discussion: Normative Ends of Representative Democracy; 8-9am
This will be a breakfast discussion among our invited attendees lead by Farbod Faraji. As part of the discussion, participants will discuss the goals and purposes of representative democracy.
Reform and Representation, 9-9:50am
Moderator: Archon Fung
This panel will explore whether electoral system reform is relevant to achieving the goals of representative democracy.
Race and Electoral Systems, 10-10:50am
Moderator: Stephen Ansolabehere
This panel will discuss how political scientists who focus on race and representation think about electoral reform and provide a guide for further avenues of inquiry as we examine the role of race and electoral reform.
Structural Constraints, 11-11:50am
Moderator: Larry Schwartztol
This panel will discuss the various structural constraints that may impede or slow down electoral reform including the role of parties, labor, and special interests. The panel will look at these issues both in domestic and comparative context.
Election Law and Electoral System Reform, 12:30-1:20pm
Moderator: Nicholas Stephanopoulos
This panel will discuss the intersection of election law with electoral systems reform.
Getting from Here to There, 1:30-2:10pm
This discussion will be led by Keesha Gaskins-Nathan and Michael Kang. It will explore the following questions: Can groups with different interests coalesce on electoral systems reform? What are the barriers to electoral systems reform? Are different systems better for local, state, and national government? What are the mechanisms for getting electoral reform implemented?
Measurements for Success, 2:15-2:45pm
This will be a presentation by Kosuke Imai. He will focus on methods for assessing the effectiveness of electoral systems reform and its performance in communities of color.
Next Steps, 2:50-3:20pm
This will be a group discussion lead by Alora Thomas-Lundborg and Cerin Lindgrensavage. The discussion will focus on what the next steps are for the reform agenda. This discussion will focus on where do we go from here.