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Speakers:         Alison Gash. Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Oregon

Heather McClure, Director, Center for Equity Promotion, University of Oregon

Rheuben Bundy, PhD Candidate, Dept. of Political Science, University of Oregon

In the lead up to election day, candidates for public office describe their relevant experience and explain their positions in ways designed to win votes. Their campaign workers call thousands of prospective supporters to advertise the sterling qualities of the candidates. In choosing among the options, voters consider not just the candidate’s party, but also their knowledge, responsiveness to community concerns, willingness to put in the time to do the job right, and basic honesty.

But in these times, the broader community has become painfully aware of the ways past policies and practices have left some neighbors behind.  We recognize that inequity is built into systems. Rebuilding to improve fairness and equalize opportunity requires electing candidates who show commitment to and talent for this work. How should we determine which candidates those are?

In this program, three experts will share ideas about what voters should look for, if a primary goal is to create better and more just systems of governance.


Alison Gash‘s research focuses on the intersection of law and social policy with a specific interest in race, gender, sexuality and disability in the context of housing and family.  She is the author of Below the Radar: How Silence Can Save Civil Rights (Oxford University Press, 2015), as well as

multiple articles on legal advocacy and collaborative governance published in the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Law & Social Inquiry, Politics & Policy, Laws, and Polity.  Her work has appeared in Newsweek, Politico, Fortune, Washington Monthly, Slate, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, and The Conversation.


Heather McClure is a broadly trained prevention scientist with expertise in the social and cultural determinants of learning and health among marginalized populations, with a particular focus on Latinx immigrant youth and families. She uses multi-method approaches to gain insights into individual, family, and community-level influences on learning and critically-related phenomena (e.g., mental, behavioral, and physical health) that can either create risk for educational failure or promote engaged learning and well-being over the life course. As Director of the Center for Equity Promotion (CEQP), she works closely with our affiliated scientists who lead federally-funded education and health research projects.

Rheuben Bundy is a doctoral student who expects to earn his PhD in June 2021. His dissertation study is “Adjudicating Difference: Otherness, Criminality, and the Question of Subjectificationin American Law.” His recent work has focused on documenting white nationalist organizing in Eugene/Springfield and confronting it in the classroom. He is co-founder of the Grassroots Policy Initiative, and has served as a teaching assistant in Inside/Out, a program offering university courses to prison inmates. He has earned graduate and undergraduate degrees at UO and the University of Texas at Tyler.