This November, Utahns will have the opportunity to voice their opinion on an unprecedented number of ballot initiatives. Proposition 4, the Utah Independent Redistricting Commission and Standards Act, would create an independent commission to recommend new district boundaries to the Legislature according to standards newly placed into law.
The ABU Education Fund, John R. Park Debate Society, and Scholars Strategy Network have partnered together to present a series of panels on the three propositions appearing on the November ballot. Join us for a discussion on the policy behind each of these issues before you cast your vote!
Doors open at 6:45 pm. Panel begins promptly at 7:00 pm.
Brennan Center for Justice
Michael Li serves as Senior Counsel for the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program, where his work focuses on redistricting, voting rights, and elections. Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Mr. Li practiced law at Baker Botts L.L.P. in Dallas for ten years and is the author of a widely cited blog on redistricting and election law issues that The New York Times called “indispensable.” He is a regular writer and commentator on election law issues, appearing on PBS Newshour, MSNBC, and NPR, and in print in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Roll Call, Vox, National Journal, Texas Tribune, Dallas Morning News, and San Antonio Express-News, among others.
In addition to his election law work, Mr. Li previously served as executive director of Be One Texas, a donor alliance that oversaw strategic and targeted investments in non-profit organizations working to increase voter participation and engagement in historically disadvantaged African-American and Hispanic communities in Texas.
Mr. Li received his J.D., with honors, from Tulane Law School and his undergraduate degree in history from the University of Texas at Austin.
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Professor Magleby received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2011. From 2011 to 2013, he was a post doctoral fellow in the Political Institutions and Public Choice (PIPC) Program at Duke university where he was also a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Political Science. His research interests focus on American political institutions particularly Congress, parties, and polarization. He joined the Binghamton faculty in the fall of 2013 and teaches courses on the United States Congress, the presidency, parties and interest groups in American politics.
University of Oklahoma
Director of the Carl Albert Congressional Research & Studies Center
Michael H. Crespin is Director and Curator of the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center and Professor of Political Science at The University of Oklahoma. He earned his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 2005 and served in the office of U.S. Representative Dan Lipinski as an APSA Congressional Fellow from 2005-06.
Mike assists in leading the Center’s graduate program and undergraduate research fellows. He also guides students as they take part in the Capitol Scholars program with internships at the Capitol and weekly seminars on campus. Mike also teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on the U.S. Congress and American Federal Government.
Crespin’s research focuses on legislative politics, congressional elections, and political geography. His work on redistricting shows that when independent commissions draw legislative districts, they are more compact and divide fewer communities of interest. Other research finds races are more competitive when the power to draw congressional districts is removed from state legislatures. He also maintains the PIPC Roll Call Dataset
Some of his work has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Political Analysis, and State Politics and Policy Quarterly. Professor Crespin was a Risser Innovative Teaching Fellow and was awarded a SSRC Negotiating Agreement in Congress Research Grant.
Jeffrey Wright is a financier and private equity investor with global experience in a variety of industries, including biotechnology, real estate, debt, reinsurance, and venture start-ups. He is the Co-founder and Chairman of Actium Partners LLC., the CEO and owner of Laurus Holding Company, and Founder of Struck Creative Inc. He is a current member of the Board of Visitors for the University of Utah, a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy based in Los Angeles, a member of the Atlantic Council based out of Washington D.C., and most recently served as the Vice-Chair of the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission. He is a past member of the Board of Trustees of Southern Utah University, and from 1998-2003 he served on the Board of Directors for the Guadalupe School, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing at risk children through education.
Mr. Wright is the recipient of a Bachelor of Arts in both history and political science from the University of Utah, as well as a certificate in international accounting from the London School of Economics, a certificate in strategic leadership from Oxford University, and a Masters Post Graduate Diploma in Organizational Leadership from the Said Business School at Oxford University.