Fellows say political polarization is increasing

Political polarization is growing in this country, said CCLP senior fellows Matthew Dowd and Narda Zacchino at a Communication Leadership Roundtable at the new Wallis Annenberg Hall on March 23. The data, Dowd said, shows that “we’re at the most polarized state that we’ve ever been in.”

BridgingDivide1 (1)Left to right: Narda Zacchino, Matthew Dowd, Geoffrey Cowan, and Geoffrey Baum

Dowd and Zacchino were joined by CCLP director Geoffrey Cowan and CCLP advisory board members and senior fellows who were in town for a board meeting prior to the event, as well as staff and students from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

“Some of it is a natural human tendency of confirmation bias, which means we seek out information that confirms what we already believe and ignore information that makes us uncomfortable,” said Dowd. “And because of our access to information now it’s much more than it used to be. It’s easier now for Democrats or progressives or liberals to access information that confirms their beliefs, and for conservatives or Republicans to access information that confirms their beliefs, and then what that does is increase the conflict.”

Zacchino said that media has also played a large role in the widening of this divide.

“News has become less a vehicle for educating people than it is a way to advance and enhance a particular point of view,” said Zacchino. “I think that’s a terrible thing for democracy.”

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Dowd, a former political strategist who has worked for President George W. Bush, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and then-Senator Barack Obama, said he is now “vehemently independent.” He made the case that individuals can still make a difference in the national political discourse. Ultimately, Dowd told the audience of about 50 people, it is up to individuals to enact the changes in their own lives that they want to see throughout the country.

“Even though we think this is a massive country and massive society and what can we do, the power of individuals still has an unbelievable weight in this country,” said Dowd. “Even if you don’t agree with someone like Edward Snowden, the power of an individual to do something is incredible. I encourage everybody, especially students, to get involved in politics if you do not like the direction of what’s happening in Washington or California. The only way it’s going to change is if you do it differently in in a manner with which you want leadership exercised. If you advocate it won’t ever change; if you want it to change, you have to do it.”

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Zacchino, an award-winning former political editor for the LA Times, has a new book coming out about how California coming back from the brink of being a failed state.

Dowd, a political analyst for ABC News and the founder of Paradox Capital, is co-author of the New York Times bestseller Applebee’s America: How Successful Political, Business and Religious Leaders Connect with the New American Community.



Pasadena Public Library hosts annual Author Fair

By Sammy Wu, Pasadena City College Courier, 3/18/2015

The Pasadena Public Library hosted their its Annual Author Fair on February 21 where many independent, freelance writers from around the Pasadena area gathered to speak to fans and to give readings of their books.

Justin Chapman, a graduate of both Pasadena City College and the University of California, Berkeley, recently finished a trip across Africa, going to areas such as Cape Town and Mityana, Uganda. In his trip through Africa, he has been involved in a plethora of exciting events, such as witnessing a witchcraft healing ceremony, nearly dodging death in a car accident, and visiting a poor township.

All of these events were collectively written about in his new paperback book Saturnalia: Traveling from Cape Town to Kampala in Search of an African Utopia.

Chapman encourages people of all ages to pick up his book, which has already received positive reviews.

“I hope that the book will open people’s eyes to the real Africa, beyond what is depicted in television documentaries and fleeting media accounts of atrocities and struggles,” said Chapman. “The stories Saturnalia contains and the conclusions it draws are important and should not be passed over or forgotten.”

Moreover, journalist and children’s author Yvonne Senkandwa debuted two of her books at the event: “Nkinzi and Nammikka Have a Tea Party”and “Nkinzi and Nammikka Go to the Farmer’s Market.” The two books take place in Kampala, Uganda, and it is intended to promote Ugandan cultural pride and language among its readers, specifically those who are Ugandan.

Senkandwa, who was born in Kenya to Ugandan parents, expressed the importance of taking pride in one’s cultural identity.

“I simply set out to write about the day-to-day life experiences of the African girl in the international world, to let the African girl know that the world will demand she knows her value and self-worth,” Senkandwa said. “It is important that the African girl loves herself, as she joins other little girls of other races and ethnic backgrounds in her global communities. It is also important that the African girl does not feel different in any way because of her skin color.”

Furthermore, Nancy Young was present to promote her book “Strum,” which was a finalist in the USA Literary Fiction contest and a recipient of the Independent Publisher Book Award. The novel centers on a young deaf man, Bernard, who is awakened one day by the sound of music created by the spirits of his great grandfather, who was Iroquois, and his great grandmother, who was European.
The music leads him to a nearby forest in his hometown of Quebec, Canada. It is at this forest that he sees a 800-year-old tree naturally fall down, and he decides to collect the wood to make two guitars. One guitar is later shipped to Europe, while the other is sent to Asia. The story then follows the trajectory of these two guitars.

“I was inspired by my personal journey and the journeys of people I know, when writing the book,” Young said. “I travel a lot as a child and as an adult. I have been to Asia, the Middle East, Australia, and Europe, and it is such experiences abroad that motivated me to write a book on love, family, culture, environment, spirituality, and magic.”

The Pasadena Public Library is located at 285 East Walnut St. and will host another Author Fair in October as part of ArtNight Pasadena.

Round Two

Robinson and Tornek to square off in mayoral runoff; Hampton and Wells will fight again for District 1

By Andre Coleman and Justin Chapman, Pasadena Weekly, 3/12/2015

Races for mayor and the City Council’s District 1 seat will be decided in a runoff election on April 21.

In Tuesday’s election, none of the six candidates for mayor captured 50 percent plus one vote of the ballots cast to win outright. The same was true for District 1, with five candidates in that contest.

However, three Pasadena Board of Education seats were decided, with Roy Boulghourjian winning District 2, Patrick Cahalan winning District 4 and Lawrence Torres taking the school board’s District 6 seat, according to unofficial results for all five elections.

In the mayor’s race, Council members Jacque Robinson and Terry Tornek will square off in six weeks to replace Pasadena’s first elected mayor in modern times, Bill Bogaard, who announced in September that he would not seek a fifth term. Tornek took 37.1 percent, or 4,814 of the votes cast. Robinson came in 883 votes behind, with 3,931, or 30.3 percent.

“We never thought we could win outright,” Tornek said Tuesday night at City Hall, where votes were being tabulated throughout the evening. “With six slices of the pie, it’s just not happening.”

“We ran a great campaign,” Robinson said. “I feel good about my chances and I am ready to go. The race is not over yet.”

In the mayor’s race, newcomer Don Morgan finished third with 14.4 percent, or 1,873, votes. Former Mayor Bill Thomson received 1,708 votes, or 13.1 percent, Allen Shay finished with 557 votes, or 4.4 percent, and Jason Hardin took 64 votes, or 0.4 percent.

Although the terms of three other council members were up this year, incumbents Margaret McAustin of District 2, Gene Masuda of District 4 and Steve Madison of District 6 ran unopposed and were re-elected.

Because two council members were running for mayor, neither Bogaard nor other council members endorsed a candidate leading up to the election.

However, Madison let his feelings for Tornek be known in a mass email sent out Tuesday morning in which he supported Thomson.

Terry Tornek would be a poor choice for mayor,” wrote Madison, who has been at odds with Tornek on a number of issues since the two men have served together on the council. “His arrogant, autocratic style has marginalized him on the council; and to be an effective mayor it is even more essential that one listen to others, forge solutions, and be a consensus builder.” 

In the District 1 election, former Pasadena Fire Chief Calvin Wells and Board of Education member Tyron Hampton will meet again in the runoff. Robinson, who previously represented council District 1, was forced to give up her council seat to run for mayor. Tornek still has two years remaining in his term as the council’s District 7 representative.

In the District 1 race, Hampton took 46.1 percent, or 879 votes. Wells garnered 24.1 percent, or 459 votes. Candidates Brian Biery captured 276 votes (14.5 percent), Pixie Boyden took 233 votes (12.2 percent), and German Acevedo received 56 votes (2.9 percent).

Wells told the Weekly on Wednesday morning that some of his supporters said they did not get mail in ballots. “As I was walking something that came up is some people said they did not get their mail-in ballots,” Wells said. “I anticipated the votes being spread around with five people in the race. I am grateful to have an opportunity to continue. I have to work to close the gap, now what we can focus on a two-man race.

In elections for the school board, Boulghourjian captured 1,568 votes (67.9 percent). In District 4, Cahalan defeated Sheryl Turner 814-660, with Cahalan capturing 55.2 percent of the vote. And in District 6, Torres defeated Sandra Siraganian with 1,566 votes, or 57.5 percent.

Justin Chapman contributed to this report.

California public higher ed needs sufficient funding, Baum writes in op-ed

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California’s public higher education segments – community colleges, California State University, and University of California – require adequate funding in order to continue the vision laid out decades ago in the state’s Master Plan, according to a new op-ed in the Sacramento Bee penned by CCLP managing director and president of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors Geoffrey Baum. The article was co-written by Lou Monville, chair of the CSU Board of Trustees, and Bruce Varner, chair of the UC Board of Regents.

“Ensuring the dream of higher education is achievable for all Californians depends heavily on adequate funding for all three sectors of higher education,” the state education leaders wrote. “The growing emphasis on community colleges – on the state and federal level – is a positive and welcome development. But an isolated increase in support for community colleges could be undermined by insufficient support for our other segments.”

If community colleges students are unable to proceed to CSU or UC schools due to inadequate funding of those higher education institutions, it “could have detrimental consequences for California’s economy, which requires increasing numbers of highly skilled workers to continue our recovery from the recession.”

The Master Plan was designed in 1960 as a blueprint for the state’s higher education system to ensure that high school graduates could pursue a quality, public higher education.

“The creators of the Master Plan wisely envisioned California’s higher education segments as three parts of a whole,” the op-ed continues. “If we want California’s public higher education system to continue growing and serving the state’s current needs, there must be adequate funding for all three higher education segments.”

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Geoffrey Baum

LA Theatre Works to honor Geoffrey Cowan

Well-known as a best-selling author, public interest lawyer, academic administrator, government official, distinguished professor, and Emmy Award-winning producer, CCLP director Geoffrey Cowan is also a notable playwright who will be honored by LA Theatre Works to celebrate their decades-long collaboration.

LATWlogo.pngCowan has worked with LA Theatre Works for 25 years on his award-winning play Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers, which originally premiered as a radio play in 1991 in front of a live audience for national broadcast on NPR and later toured the country in 2007-8, had a five week run in New York City in 2010, and played to audiences throughout China in 2011 and 2013. The play celebrates the importance of the press, the First Amendment, and an independent judiciary. In New York and China CCLP presented “Top Secret Talks,” a series of panel discussions with leading journalists, scholars and policymakers about the contemporary lessons of the Pentagon Papers story.

“Geoffrey Cowan has been a significant person in the life of LA Theatre Works since 1991, when I called him to ask a question about a constitutional issue which he answered and then let me know that he had written a play,” said Susan Loewenberg, producing director for LA Theatre Works. “That casual remark turned into almost a quarter of a century of fruitful collaboration between Geoff and LATW. Geoff is truly a Renaissance man and we are honored to be honoring him.”

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LA Theatre Works is a non-profit media arts organization based in Los Angeles whose mission for over 25 years has been to present, preserve and disseminate classic and contemporary plays.

Co-written by Cowan and pioneering journalist and teacher Leroy Aarons, Top Secret is an inside look at the Washington Post‘s decision to publish a top-secret study documenting the United States’ involvement in Vietnam. The subsequent trial tested the parameters of the First Amendment, pitting the public’s right to know against the government’s claim of secrecy. The epic legal battle between the government and the press went to the nation’s highest court and is perhaps the most important Supreme Court case ever on freedom of the press.

In its review, the Associated Press called Top Secret “an engaging, well-acted, historical drama by Geoffrey Cowan and Leroy Aarons. With cloak-and-dagger intrigue, government suppression, courtroom drama and an unusual theatrical format, the play will please theater enthusiasts and history buffs alike. The ‘write what you know’ maxim couldn’t be more apropos in this case, evidenced by Cowan and Aarons’ clear presentation of the facts and splendidly nuanced dialogue, which consistently rings true.”

“It has been a terrific partnership on this play,” said Cowan. “I’m proud to have worked with LA Theatre Works all these years, and thrilled to celebrate the intersection of education, culture, and these important issues of free speech, free press, and independent judiciary.”

In 2011, LA Theatre Works partnered with Ping Pong Productions to take the production on a 3-week tour of China. The group played to sold-out crowds in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Beijing. In June 2013 Top Secret returned to China for a second tour that the the New York Times called a “spare, fast-paced docudrama,” and the New Yorker called “thrilling.”

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Cowan with his wife Aileen Adams at the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center

Cowan said the play started in a classroom with a course he taught on media law at UCLA, then wound up in a theatre, using the stage as a classroom. LA Theatre Works uses Top Secret and other plays to provide lessons for thousands of students in all 50 states.

The March 25 gala will include a presentation of the pivotal “Freedom of the Press” scene from the play, featuring the full cast. Ed Asner, Ed Begley, Jr., Jane Fonda, and other respected artists of stage and screen will perform excerpts from Top Secret and other plays. Visit latw.org/gala for tickets and more information.

Reeves exposes ugly truth of Japanese internment camps in new book

CCLP senior fellow Richard Reeves examines the key causes and dire consequences of the Japanese-American internment in relocation camps during World War II in his new book, concentrating on a shortsighted military strategy and anti-Japanese sentiment following the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

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“A day that will live in infamy,” President Franklin D. Roosevelt said of the attack in asking Congress for a Declaration of War, after which the president himself signed an executive order that moved more than 120,000 Japanese, most of them American citizens, “behind barbed-wire and machine gun towers, into concentration camps spread across the most barren and hostile deserts and swamps of the country,” said Reeves. “Their only crime: looking like the enemy.”

Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II provides an authoritative account of the incarceration of these American citizens and Japanese immigrants during the war. Men we usually consider heroes – FDR, Earl Warren, Edward R. Murrow – were in this case villains, but we also learn of many Americans who took great risks to defend the rights of the internees.

Reeves wrote the book because he doesn’t want that to happen again “if the nation becomes hysterical about real or imagined threats to national security,” he said. “Without knowing too much about it, I always wanted to study the incarceration of innocent Japanese-Americans in desert concentration camps during World War II. I found that what happened was far worse than I imagined. Fear, racism and raw greed drove Americans to crush thousands of lives, breaking up families and stealing property under the leadership of men as historically revered as President Roosevelt and California’s attorney general, Earl Warren. Shamed, the victims of the camps refused to talk about it for decades, even as their sons served in the most decorated American combat unit in history. They do now. It happened here and it could happen again, to Muslims, to Latin Americans. I want to let people who love America and love the Constitution know that that “piece of paper,” as described by Assistant Secretary of War John McCloy, was shredded in a wave of national hysteria.”

Called “an engaging and comprehensive depiction of an essential, but sometimes overlooked, era of U.S. history” by Kirkus Reviews, the book tells the story of this appalling chapter in American history more powerfully than ever before.

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“Reeves liberally quotes politicians, reporters and citizens, rehashing the argument that ‘a Jap is a Jap’ and therefore all Japanese aliens and even citizens on the West Coast needed to be removed,” writes Kirkus Reviews. “Reeves includes firsthand and secondhand accounts of life inside the camps. Though Reeves’ subject is an essentially bleak picture of hysterical racism…the author does a solid job of balancing the dreary passages with occasional shots of humor, humanity or both. Reeves unearths and makes public a painful national memory, but he does so while maintaining the dignity of those held behind barbed wire and unmasking the callous racism and disregard of the people who put them there.”

Tom Brokaw calls the book “a detailed account of a painful and shameful period in modern American history. Infamy combines Reeves’s journalist’s training with his historian’s eye to give us a page-turner on how hysteria at the highest levels can shatter our most fundamental rights. Brace yourself and read this very important book.”

Racism, greed, xenophobia, and a thirst for revenge: a dark strand in the American character underlies this story of one of the most shameful episodes in our history. But by recovering the past, Infamy has given voice to those who ultimately helped the nation better understand the true meaning of patriotism. The book is scheduled for publication on Tuesday, April 21, by Holt, Henry & Company.

Reeves, a former New York Times and Frontline journalist, a senior lecturer at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, a syndicated columnist and an award-winning documentary filmmaker, is embarking on a national speaking tour to promote his new book, including participating on a panel at the LA Times Festival of Books at the Hancock Foundation at USC at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 19. The panel will be moderated by Jon Wiener and look at American milestones in history. Joining Reeves on the panel will be Ed Larson and Scott Martelle. Reeves is also the biography judge for the LA Times Book Prize.

Reeves is featured in a film called “Searching for Camelot” premiering at the Garden State Film Festival on March 21. The film is about people who were living in Greenwich Village when John F. Kennedy became president. Reeves was interviewed in the film about what it was like to be in the Village in the 60s, what it was like living next door to Bob Dylan, and what it all meant (he doesn’t remember).

Reeves will be giving a series of lectures at the New York Historical Society in April on the Japanese internment. C-SPAN has filmed one of his classes on long-form journalism which they will broadcast later this spring.

Cowan joins effort to increase university partnerships between California and Mexico

Education leaders from Mexico and California convened last week as part of an initiative to identify key areas of research collaboration in an ongoing partnership to build sustained, strategic and equal relationships between educational institutions on both sides of the border.

University of California president Janet Napolitano and National Autonomous University of Mexico provost Eduardo Bárzana García chaired the inaugural meeting of the UC-Mexico Initiative Advisory Board. The two-day meeting was held in Ensenada, Mexico, on February 26 and 27, 2015.

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Janet Napolitano, Geoffrey Cowan, and Eduardo Bárzana García

During the meeting, scholars and experts met in breakout sessions to discuss education, energy, environment, arts and culture, and public health.

Geoffrey Cowan, president of the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, a USC University Professor and director of the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy, participated in the historic meeting as a member of the advisory board. He said the goal was to identify important scholarly collaborations on which Mexico and the University of California can work together.

“California is interdependent in so many ways with Mexico,” said Cowan. “Our economies are heavily interdependent, our environment, our coastline, public health, education. These are all common issues we have, so if we can work together we can build both economies and both societies in a more dynamic way. We’re going forward with major research collaborations between these countries in areas of mutual interest.”

One of Sunnylands’ areas of focus is the Pacific Rim with an emphasis on U.S.-Mexico relations. This effort continues work began in 2012 when Sunnylands, in partnership with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, convened a retreat and released a report aimed at strengthening U.S.-Mexico relations. In the report, entitled A Stronger Future: Policy Recommendations for U.S.-Mexico Relations, preeminent bipartisan political, business, academic, and media leaders from the United States and Mexico concluded that the tone of the bilateral relationship should change and focus not just on a few issues, such as security and migration or trade and the economy, but instead be wide-ranging and cover a variety of mutual interests. The report presented innovative recommendations for enhancing regional competitiveness, new strategies to strengthen security, judicial reform, and furthering educational exchanges between the two nations, among other issues.

The UC-Mexico Initiative was launched in January 2014 by Napolitano and is led by UC Riverside.

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Other participants in the Ensenada meeting included Monica Lozano, UC regent; Kim Wilcox, UC Riverside chancellor; Dorothy Leland, UC Merced chancellor; Gene Block, UCLA chancellor; Hunter Rawlings, president of the American Association of Universities; Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation; José Narro Robles, president of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; Juan Manuel Ocegueda, president of the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California; Enrique Cabrero, director general of Mexico’s National Council of Science and Technology; Salvador Alva, president of the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Antonio Lopez de Silanes, president of the Group for Birth Studies and chairman of the board of the pharmaceutical company Grupo Silanes; Rafael Tovar y de Teresa, president of Mexico’s National Council for Culture and Arts; and Jaime Valls Esponda, secretary general of ANUIES, which represents 180 higher education institutions throughout Mexico.

Pitch Perfect

Soccer’s popularity grows locally with 3,000 players recreationally competing in the Pasadena Adult Soccer League

By Justin Chapman, Pasadena Weekly, 3/5/2015

“We’re not trying to make our league so competitive. We just want people to play soccer because it’s soccer, it’s a great sport.”

Up until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, soccer was nowhere near as popular in the United States as it is in most every other country in the world.

And while still not as ubiquitous here as in, say, the United Kingdom or Africa or South America, interest in soccer is on the rise — especially locally, where 3,000 players recreationally compete in the Pasadena Adult Soccer League.

One reason for the increase in popularity was the impressive performance by the US team in the World Cup, according to Christophe “Frenchy” Giovannelli and Sherisse Tuck, the South Pasadena couple who run the Pasadena league. They said participation increased last summer because of the World Cup.

“You have so many sports to choose from in America: football, basketball, baseball,” said 46-year-old Tuck, who has been running the league since 1998. “But soccer is getting bigger [in San Gabriel Valley]. The World Cup showed everybody that this is a sport.”

“The World Cup has a big effect,” said 43-year-old Giovannelli, who was born in France and came to the United States in 2002. “The US team did a good job. Everybody was very excited about it. This year all the restaurants and bars were showing the games, and it wasn’t like that during the last World Cup. They should have a World Cup every year.”

Soccer’s local popularity began its upswing in 1994 when Brazil and Italy duked it out during that year’s final World Cup match at the Rose Bowl. Brazil won 3-2 on penalties.

Another reason soccer is gaining prevalence in the San Gabriel Valley is the American Youth Soccer League (AYSO), established in 1964 in a garage in Torrance. The youth league now runs programs in nearly 900 communities across the country and has over six million alumni. 

“AYSO is huge around here,” said Giovannelli. “Those players, if they don’t make a club or a professional team, they still want to play soccer (when they get older). It’s a dream people have had since they were kids, since they played in AYSO. If they stopped playing at some point, but now they want to play soccer and want to enjoy it again, and they know they’re not going to play in a club, the only way to play is on a recreational league.”

Demand for the Pasadena Adult Soccer League is huge. It is difficult to get on a team, though Tuck and Giovannelli help players out when they can. The league’s growth is only hampered by the number of fields that are available for game play. But it took Tuck 10 years to grow the league, which is contracted by the city of Pasadena, to what it is today.

Beginning in 1972, there was a women’s soccer league in Pasadena. In 1998, nobody wanted to run it anymore, so Tuck stepped up.

“There were just a couple hundred people in the league back then and games were just on Sunday,” she said. “We started adding beginner’s leagues and men’s leagues, and in 2008 I started the Pasadena league. The city wanted someone to take over a league they had, so I turned in a proposal and they accepted it. We started with 12 teams and it grew from there.”

Now the league has 3,000 players from Glendale to Duarte and games are played every day of the week, year-round. The league also holds special tournaments on Thanksgiving weekend, during the World Cup and in May. The Mayday Melee Tournament is a fundraiser, while the Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot Tournament is more of a social potluck.

Tuck and Giovannelli said the league is a great social outlet. In fact, two players who met on a soccer team two-and-a-half years ago, Sarah Thalmann and Alejandro Moratorio, are now engaged to be wed in June. The Pasadena residents met on a team called Babe-raham Lincolns. Thalmann, 35, is an eighth-grade teacher at Marshall Fundamental High School in Pasadena. Moratorio, 37, works at LA Networks in Sherman Oaks. They both play on triple A division teams.

“I like that I could play virtually every day of the week if I wanted to, and I have,” said Thalmann. “The league has grown quite a bit in the last decade, but it continues to be well-organized. I also like that there are so many different levels. I’m definitely not going to want to play in the A divisions forever, and it’s great to know that I can continue to play as I get older.”

Moratorio has played in the league a total of six years, with a break in between to play in a more competitive men’s league, Los Angeles Super Metro.

“I’m very proud to be one of the first few hundred people who joined this league, and to see how tremendously it’s progressed,” said Moratorio, “from relatively few options in terms of days and fields to games being played on every day of the week, and on some great fields. The greater Pasadena area is extremely lucky to have this league. It’s a wonderful, safe place to play soccer and see friends on a regular basis.”

Sierra Madre resident Erik Pierstorff, 40, played soccer as a kid until he was 32 and just picked it up again last summer. He agreed that joining the league was a good way to meet new people, though he would like to see an easier way for free agents to locate a team.

“That is its biggest weakness from my perspective,” he said.

For regular seasons, players can choose between Men’s Only (11 players versus 11 players), Women’s Only (11v11), Men’s Over 30 (7v7), Men’s Over 35 (7v7), Women’s Over 30 (7v7) and Coed (7v7). The 7v7 leagues have some slightly different rules, including no offsides and no sliding. The league is divided up into four skill divisions: A, B, C and D. Teams choose which division they feel they are qualified for. It costs $675 for a team to sign up for each season, which lasts about eight to 10 weeks. That team cost is split up among its players, who are also required to purchase a $25 player ID card for each calendar year.

“Unless I know a team and its players, I won’t put them on Men’s A,” said Giovannelli. “They have to play on Men’s B first, because by experience you’ll have a team who think they can go on Men’s A, but that ends up not being the case, and that’s not fun for anybody. We keep an eye on it, because we don’t want a B team playing on a D team, or vice versa.”

Teams don’t have to necessarily place first in their league to move up, however.

“Some teams want to move up, but most teams don’t want to move up — it’s funny,” said Tuck. “They’ll win three seasons in a row and say, ‘We want to stay here.’”

The league’s referees are paid and highly qualified. Some of them are refs for FIFA. Others referee games for Major League Soccer. One of the refs will be one of four American referees for the next World Cup. The league also has a few high-profile players as well, including one woman who played on a professional team in Switzerland, another who played in the Women’s World Cup, a former player for Chelsea Football Club and the French and Dutch national teams, Cobi Jones of LA Galaxy and actor Matthew Lillard.

“We’re not trying to make our league so competitive. We just want people to play soccer because it’s soccer, it’s a great sport,” said Tuck. “We want to get people to play who have never played, who are in their 50s or 60s. We want them to come try soccer out.”

Although they have a small staff of two other employees, managing the league is a full-time job for both Tuck and Giovannelli. Fortunately for them, soccer is their passion. Indeed, for many people, soccer is an identity sport. It’s part of who they are as human beings, and serves as a fun way to fulfill their own self-expression.

For more information, visit adultsoccerleague.com.



California and China, a model for collaboration on climate change

International leaders should build on the success of the partnership between Chinese provinces and the state of California in combating climate change, according to a new report co-authored by CCLP senior fellow Orville Schell, the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, and the Asia Society.

“The latest agreement in November 2014 between the United States and China to reduce carbon emissions will help set a new course in the effort for greater international cooperation on climate change, but states, provinces, and municipalities also have a vital role to play,” reads the report, titled A Vital Partnership: California and China Collaborating on Clean Energy and Combating Climate Change.

The report was released by Schell and Geoffrey Cowan, president of the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, on March 4 at an Asia Society event in San Francisco. Gov. Jerry Brown and Nobel laureate and former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu also participated in the discussion.

“In the end if the U.S. and China do come together in a meaningful way to deal with climate change, it is not going to exclusively be between Washington and Beijing,” said Schell. “In fact that may be the least important link. Where the rubber will really meet the road is with states and municipalities dealing directly, so that the solution ends up being more of a patchwork, kind of a mosaic, rather than some big grand design where the presidents wave a wand in Washington and Beijing and bring about a solution. I don’t think it’ll happen that way. But it can happen piece by piece by piece.”

The authors of the report hope that the “unique interaction between California and China will help inspire new forms of constructive subnational efforts to address our critical transnational problems.” The report summarizes the ongoing efforts between California and China that are part of a significant effort to jointly address the challenge of global climate change at the subnational level.

“Both California and China are reaping benefits from their collaborations,” said Cowan. “Not only are these partnerships uncovering solutions to protect the air, water, and ecosystems within each country, but they are also catalyzing increased trade and investment in clean technology in both countries.”