Come for the Controversy, Stay for the Insight






Saturday, February 17, 2018
Beyond the Whistle-Blowers: What comes next?
Power, Gender, and Writing New Rules for the American Workplace

$20 pre-sale and $25 at the door. The panel will take place at Oak Grove School – 220 West Lomita in Ojai

In 2017, a group of courageous women and men stepped forward to talk about their experiences as victims of sexual harassment and assault. The overwhelming public and media response has led to a broad societal understanding that we must take immediate and aggressive steps to confront this widespread problem.

Join us as we convene a panel of academic, professional and media experts to discuss the legal, political, social and cultural challenges of building consensus toward a new set of answers.



Cecile Ablack is a lecturer in communications and social media at UC Berkeley. Her expertise is running advertising and communications campaigns in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Her clients include the governments of Hong Kong, Mexico, and Jamaica and corporate clients M&M Mars and Boeing. Cecile is a former Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles, was Director of Government and Public Affairs at the United States Commerce Department, and served for ten years as Associate Dean for Public Affairs and Strategic Planning at Yale University.


Dan Schnur is a professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communications and at the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley. Schnur is the founder of the USC/LA Times Poll and the former Chairman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission. He is an educator and political reformer, striving for government transparency, bipartisan cooperation, and civics education. In addition to his classes at USC and Berkeley, Schnur has taught at Harvard University and George Washington University. Schnur also has worked on four Presidential and three Gubernatorial campaigns, and is a featured commentator in national print and television news. He can be followed on Twitter @danschnur.




Shakari Byerly is the Managing Partner of EVITARUS, INC., a strategic advisory firm that provides public opinion research and political consulting to candidate and ballot measure campaigns, municipalities, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and corporate decision makers. Shakari has 20 years of experience in the field of public policy encompassing a broad range of issues, including political reform, American social and political values, education, health care and transportation policy. A leading public opinion pollster, Shakari has worked with candidates seeking local and statewide office across the country, including campaigns run in California, Utah, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts. She has also served as a pollster for dozens of municipalities, government agencies, and private sector clients and non-profit organizations, including the County of Los Angeles, the City and County of San Francisco, the City of Stockton, California Department of Public Health, LA Metro, Orange County Transportation Agency, UCLA, the Pat Brown Institute at California State University, California Community Foundation, and the California Endowment. Shakari is a member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the American Political Science Association (APSA). She previously served on the Board of Directors of California Common Cause, Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute, and the San Francisco Women’s Political Committee.


At the age of ten, Ana Cubas moved from civil war torn El Salvador to join her mother in Los Angeles. Her mother cleaned houses and office buildings and her father was a day laborer. After school, Ana and her sister would go to the library to study until her mother finished working. She credits her hours in the library to helping her get accepted at University of California, Berkeley. She was the first member of her family to attend college and she went on to receive Master’s degrees from Princeton and USC. Ana began her public policy career working for the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., and then for the California Legislative Analyst’s Office in Sacramento. For twenty years, she has focused on public outreach and urban planning solutions in low-income communities. In 2013, Ana ran for Los Angeles City Council on a positive platform of empowering low income communities. She raised $550,000 in campaign contributions — a record for female candidates in the City of LA. Although Ana advanced to the run off election, she lost to her opponent, a state senator whose campaign funds exceeded $2 million, by less than 600 votes. Had she been elected, Ana would have joined the fifteen member Los Angeles City Council as its second female representative. Undeterred, Ana has founded two initiatives from the lessons she learned during her campaign: the South Los Angeles Political Action Committee that registers voters and the Latina Public Service Academy, a leadership program, which trains high school girls on running for elected office.


Ted Johnson is a Senior Editor at Variety, the weekly entertainment trade magazine, considered the leading voice in entertainment coverage since 1905. Ted covers politics and government and also is the creator of the Variety website Wilshire & Washington. He also is the host of SiriusXM’s weekly show “PopPolitics,” about the intersection of politics and entertainment, which airs Thursdays on the POTUS Channel.
Before Variety, Ted was managing editor of V Life, a national writer for TV Guide and a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. He also was a regulator contributor to Politico.


Cinny Kennard, Executive Director at The Annenberg Foundation, is an award-winning broadcast journalist and media executive. Her accolades include the DuPont Columbia University Award for her coverage of the 1991 Persian Gulf War. One of the first female radio correspondents in the U.S., Cinny was the first woman to be named a CBS Bureau Chief, when she led the network’s Moscow operation. She also was a senior White House Correspondent covering the presidency of George H.W. Bush. Cinny covered the Anita Hill hearings and continues to interview and report on Ms. Hill, who recently was appointed to chair a Hollywood Commission on sexual harassment and advancing equity in media and entertainment. In addition, Cinny has written on the dynamics of female journalists covering war from the front lines. Cinny also has held senior positions at the Smithsonian, NPR, and has taught at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.


Tom Krause is president of the Ojai Chautauqua Committee. Over the last 35 years, Tom has been an entrepreneur, consultant and frequent author and speaker on topics such as culture change, cognitive bias, leadership development, executive decision-making, behavioral safety, and patient safety. He is currently president of The Agora Foundation, a member of the Board of Visitors and Governors for St. John’s College, and the Board of Directors of Thomas Aquinas College. In 1979 Tom co-founded Behavioral Science Technology (BST) now a global consulting firm acquired in 2012 by DEKRA Insight. Tom has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of California-Irvine, master’s degrees from California State University-Long Beach and St. John’s College of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and a bachelor’s degree from California State University-Long Beach. He is a long-time Ojai resident and non-profit contributor.

$20 pre-sale and $25 at the door. The panel will take place at Oak Grove School
220 West Lomita in Ojai

>> Get Tickets <<


On every chair at the Panel on Ojai Tourism event – Sunday, November 19th, 2017, there was a handout containing data about Ojai tourism history, tax revenue, population, traffic, and housing. Click here to download in PDF format.

Click here to read to coverage in the VC Star.

The purpose of the Ojai Chautauqua is to engage Ventura County in civil discourse about controversial and highly passionate subjects. The Chautauqua was an adult education movement in the United States, highly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Chautauqua assemblies expanded and spread throughout rural America until the mid-1920s.

The Chautauqua brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers, and specialists of the day. Former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying that Chautauqua is “the most American thing in America.” The Ojai Chautauqua is continuing this movement, with a special focus on encouraging civil discourse on controversial and highly passionate subjects. The feedback so far has been phenomenal. Civil discourse is dangerously absent from all aspects of contemporary life. The result of this failing is not only sad… it is dangerous. If we can develop this essential ability, we can begin to affect a positive change to many aspects of life that can extend far and wide.

1129 Maricopa Highway #156 • Ojai, California 93023 • (805) 231-5974 •

Tourism in the Ojai Valley – Sunday, November 19th, 2017

ojai tourism image

It’s no secret: Ojai runs on tourism. It provides at least 30% of the city’s operating budget, and the industry provides far more jobs than any other in town.

Longtime residents frequently bemoan the changes this influx of tourists has brought to the valley — even as merchants benefitted from the change. Epic battles over topics such as short-term rentals and funding for the Ojai Visitors Bureau have raged both in City Council chambers and on Facebook community pages.

There’s no question that Ojai’s attempts to market itself in recent years have been effective. But why is tourism the driving force of Ojai’s economy? Is it good or bad for our community? Has it always been this way? Are there other options? And what did that Edward Drummond Libbey guy have to do with all of this?

The Panelists were:
Caryn Bosson, Leslie Clark, Michael Haley, Johnny Johnston, Hallie Katz, and Dennis Rice. Tom Krause, President of the Ojai Chautauqua Committee, will be moderating.

The Advisory Committee was:
Misty Volaski, Kit Stoltz, Scott Eicher, Tim Dewar, Veronica Cole, Andrew Cantwell, Kimberly McLin, Bill Moses, Bret Bradigan, and Ulrich Brugger.

View the event here:

View our Past Events


Since 2014 The Ojai Chautauqua has provided forums for intelligent and civil discussion. And this is only the beginning.

Watch the November 19, 2017 event Tourism in the Ojai Valley

Watch the October 20, 2017 event An Evening with Dan Schnur and Warren Olney

Watch the June 3rd, 2017 panel on Politics, Media, and Society

Moderator – Dan Schnur – Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC
Bill Burton – Managing Director at SKDknickerbocker
Ken LaCorte – 18-year Fox News veteran
Naomi Seligman – Communications Director for Mayor Eric Garcetti
John Thomas – Founder and President of Thomas Partners Strategies
Alice Walton – Leader at Ek, Sunkin, Klink & Bai

Watch the May 6th, 2017 panel on An Unconventional Presidency – Donald Trump’s First 100 Days

Moderator – Dan Schnur – Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC
Claudia Cowan – Fox News Channel San Francisco-based correspondent
Henry C. “C.J.” Jackson – writer and editor for POLITICO
Mike Madrid – Principal at GrassrootsLab
Johanna Maska – Former White House Aide and LA-based Consultant
Seema Mehta – Political writer for the Los Angeles Times

Watch the October 8, 2016, panel on the 2016 Presidential Election – Part Two – What Happens Next?

Moderator – Dan Schnur – Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC
Gail Becker – Former head of Global Communications for Edelman Worldwide
Jeff Greenfield – Award-winning television journalist and author
Adam Nagourney – LA Bureau Chief for the New York Times
Conan Nolan – KNBC political editor and host of “News Conference” program
Roberto Suro – Professor at USC and Director of the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute

Watch the September 17, 2016, panel on the 2016 Presidential Election – Part One – How Did We Get Here?

Moderator – Dan Schnur – Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC
Brian Calle – Opinion editor of the Los Angeles Daily News.
Cinny Kennard – Executive Director of the Annenberg Foundation
Steve Lopez – Los Angeles Times columnist
Larry Mantle – Longtime host of “Airtalk” on KPCC.
Bill Schneider – Professor of Communications at UCLA and CNN commentator.

Watch the June 7, 2015, panel on Income Inequality

Moderator – Dan Schnur – Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC
Matthew Fienup – Economist, California Lutheran University
William Voegeli – Author, editor of The Claremont Review of Books
Sarah Bohn – Economist and analyst for the Public Policy Institute of California
Edward Kleinbard – Former lead staffer on a Congressional tax committee
Nelson Lichtenstein – MacArthur Foundation Chair in History at the University of California, Santa Barbara

Watch the April 12, 2015, panel on Immigration

Moderator – Herbert E. Gooch – Cal Lutheran Professor, Department of Political Science
Elton Gallegly – Former U.S. Representative
Hiroshi Motomura – UCLA scholar of immigration and citizenship law.
Abbé Kingston – Immigration Attorney
Arsenio Lopez – Executive Director of the Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project
Ric Oberlink – Former Executive Director of Californians for Population Stabilization

Watch the November 9, 2014, panel on The Future of Fracking

Moderator – Kit Stolz – Writer
Brian Segee – Environmental Defense Center
Don Clarke – Petroleum Geologist
Craig Nicholson
– Geophysicist at UCSB
Dave Quast – Director of Energy In Depth
Henry Stern – Legislative Aide to State Senator Fran Pavley

Watch the June 22, 2014, panel on The Future of Water

Moderator – Timm Herdt – Ventura County Star
Steve Bennett – Ventura County Supervisor
Eric Bergh – Calleguas Municipal Water District
Lynn Maulhardt – President of the United Water Conservation District
Emily Friend Thacher – Ojai Citrus Farmer

1129 Maricopa Highway #156 • Ojai, California 93023
(805) 231-5974 •