Media Advisory: SF State experts available to comment on elections and ballot initiatives
SAN FRANCISCO, September 30, 2016 – As the 2016 elections near, San Francisco State University faculty experts are poised to provide insightful commentary on the presidential election, California and San Francisco elections and statewide ballot initiatives.
They’ve been exploring a variety of topics, including:
In the U.S., 10 states — a record number — feature ballot measures to legalize or decriminalize marijuana, but California’s measure (Prop 64) affects the largest population and may feature the most expensive campaigns in support and opposition. (See Jim Dudley, lecturer in criminal justice studies.)
During the past two decades, the number of ballot measures in the U.S. has declined, yet California boasts the longest list of state propositions on a single ballot since March 2000. San Francisco voters must bone up on 42 propositions and ballot measures. Why the increase, and do the numbers have an impact on voting? (See Jason McDaniel, associate professor of political science.)
How do media depictions affect candidates’ standing in the polls? Are male and female candidates held to different standards? (See Miriam Smith, associate professor of broadcast and electronic communication arts, or Melissa Camacho, associate professor of broadcast and electronic communication arts.)
Our researchers can comment on the role of emotions in voting; immigrant communities and political engagement; demagoguery and American democracy through a cinematic lens; California and local ballot measures; and much more.
Robert C. Smith, professor of political science, is a nationally recognized expert on African American politics whose research has examined comparisons between President Obama and President Kennedy and the relationship between conservatism and racism in the U.S. Smith can also comment on the role of presidents and presidential candidates in polarizing American politics – his book "Polarization and the Presidency: From FDR to Barack Obama" was published in 2015.
Contact Smith at (415) 338-7524 (office), (510) 222-7273 (home) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Justin Peck, assistant professor of political science, is an expert on Congress, the presidency and the national security state. His current research addresses efforts by Congress over the years to reclaim the president’s foreign policy powers.
Contact Peck at email@example.com.
California and San Francisco politics
Jason McDaniel, associate professor of political science, is an expert in urban politics and voting behavior, with a particular emphasis on the role of racial group dynamics in elections. McDaniel frequently comments in the media on issues surrounding elections and electoral reform. Additional areas of expertise include California state politics and San Francisco politics.
McDaniel has conducted empirical analysis about how the number of measures on the San Francisco ballot affects vote share and probability of passage. He found a statistically significant decrease in chance of passage for each additional ballot measure. The effect is even more pronounced for each additional bond measure.
Contact McDaniel at (415) 338-2736 (office) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Francis Neely, associate professor of political science, is an expert on how voters form affiliations with political parties, the psychology of partisanship and the role of emotions in voting. He can also discuss voting behavior and election systems and has studied ranked choice voting extensively.
Contact Neely at (415) 338-1522 (office) or email@example.com.
Media and campaign communications; depiction of women in politics
Melissa Camacho, associate professor of broadcast and electronic communication arts, can discuss how candidates are portrayed in the mass media, particularly television. An expert on feminism, Camacho can comment on the depiction of women involved in political campaigns. She is available for interviews in Spanish and English.
Contact Camacho at (415) 338-6526 (office) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Miriam Smith, associate professor of broadcast and electronic communication arts, teaches in the areas of media law, media management and economics, media ethics and mobile media.
Contact Smith at (415) 338-1611 (office) or email@example.com.
Russell Jeung, professor of Asian American studies, is an expert on Asian American communities and politics. He has conducted research on how race and religion influence Asian American voting behavior. Jeung can discuss the diversity of the Asian American community, political candidates’ appeal to this demographic and reasons for the specific voting patterns of Asian Americans.
Contact Jeung at (415) 338-7586 (office) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marcela García-Castañon, assistant professor of political science, is an expert on American politics, Latino politics, immigrant/immigration policy and politics, political communication and methodology. Her research explores notions of membership and citizenship development within immigrant communities and their connection to political and civic engagement. She is available for interviews in Spanish and English.
She teaches the 2016 Presidential Election Public Lecture Series class at SF State.
Contact García-Castañon at email@example.com.
Belinda Reyes, associate professor of Latina/Latino studies and director of the Cesar E. Chavez Institute, can discuss the Latino vote, demographics, immigration and education issues. She is available for interviews in Spanish and English.
Contact Reyes at (415) 405-7586 (office) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ron Hayduk, associate professor of political science, is a nationally recognized expert on immigrant voting rights and the author of “Democracy for All: Restoring Immigrant Voting in the U.S.” He has conducted research and published about the impact of voting laws and procedures on voter participation, as well as election rules and administration.
Debates and discourse
Jenny Lederer, assistant professor of linguistics, is an expert in the field of cognitive linguistics, which explores the relationship between language and thought. Her research focuses on the ways in which people speak about and reason through complex political issues. Her recent publications have focused on the role metaphor plays in the description of Latino immigrants, gender transition and economic discourse. She can comment on the presidential and vice presidential debates.
Contact Lederer at email@example.com
Impact of election results on international relations
Scott N. Siegel, assistant professor of international relations, conducts research on issues related to the European Union, comparative European politics and international political economy. His first book, “The Political Economy of Noncompliance,” published in 2011, explains why some EU member states violate European law more than others. He is available to comment on the impact of U.S. election results on international relations.
Contact Siegel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Kovacs, professor of cinema, explores demagoguery and American democracy through the lens of Hollywood films. How fair is the electoral process? How powerful are special interests in influencing the outcome of elections and the laws that are passed? How susceptible is the electorate to the images presented by the candidates, the parties and the media? Does art imitate life, or vice versa?
Contact Kovacs at email@example.com.
Laureen Chew, professor of Asian American Studies and Elementary Education. She is a former Chinese Bilingual/Cross Cultural (B/CC) public school teacher and professor in B/CC teacher preparation. She can comment on California’s Proposition 58, which would repeal the 1998 ban on bilingual instruction in California public schools.
Contact Chew at (415) 338-3495 (office) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prescription Drug Prices
Ramón Castellblanch, professor of health education, is the author of “Driving Down the Cost of Drugs: Battling Big Pharma in the Statehouse” and an expert on the pharmaceutical industry and prescription drug costs. He can comment on Proposition 61, which would prohibit state agencies from paying more for a prescription drug than the lowest price paid for the same drug by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Contact Castellblanch at email@example.com.
Jim Dudley, lecturer in criminal justice studies, is a 32-year veteran of the San Francisco Police Department, where he retired as the deputy chief of patrol. He also served as the chief of special operations and commander of investigations. He can comment on Proposition 63, which would require background checks for ammunition purchases and ban the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines, and Proposition 64, which would legalize marijuana.
Contact Dudley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alex Gerould, assistant professor of criminal justice studies, and Jeff Snipes, associate professor of criminal justice studies, are the co-authors of “The Valley of the Shadow of Death,” which explores California’s death penalty. They can comment on California’s Proposition 62, which would repeal the death penalty, and Proposition 66, which would enact a number of death penalty reforms.
Contact Gerould at email@example.com.
Contact Snipes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elizabeth Brown is the director of the School of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement and an associate professor and program coordinator in the Department of Criminal Justice Studies. Her research examines the intersections between urban neighborhoods and crime control policies and explores how depictions of crime and disorder influence juvenile justice policy, life histories of urban youth and socioeconomic and racial inequality in the U.S.
She can comment on Proposition 57, which would increase parole chances for felons convicted of non-violent crimes and give them more opportunities to earn credits for good behavior while also allowing judges, not prosecutors, to decide whether to try certain juveniles as adults in court.
Contact Brown at email@example.com.
San Francisco and other local ballot measures
Measure N (San Francisco)
Ron Hayduk, associate professor of political science, is a nationally recognized expert on immigrant voting rights and the author of “Democracy for All: Restoring Immigrant Voting in the U.S.” He has conducted research and published about the impact of voting laws and procedures on voter participation, as well as election rules and administration. He is available to comment on ballot measure N, which would authorize San Francisco residents who are not United States citizens but who are the parents, legal guardians or caregivers of a child residing in San Francisco to vote in elections for the Board of Education.
Measure V (San Francisco), Measure HH (Oakland), Measure 01 (Albany)
Gretchen George, assistant professor of consumer & family studies/dietetics, is an expert on childhood obesity and a registered dietitian. She can comment on the health implications of sugar-sweetened beverage taxes, which are on the ballot in San Francisco, Oakland and Albany.
Contact George at (415) 338-3421 (office) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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