Upcoming Events

“Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free men.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower


Forum: New Climate Change Solutions - How We Can All Help 

Queens Library, Forest Hills - Thursday, May 23, 2019, 6-7:30pm

However polarizing, the issue of climate change is a real concern that has an impact on everyone around the world.  The good news is that there are things we can do in our daily lives that will help make a difference.

 

Join us to learn more from our panel of speakers -- Monica Weiss of 350NYC and the Climate Reality Project (directed by Al Gore); Kim Fraczek, a Sane Energy leader in NYC; Dan Miner of the Forest Hills Green Team; and a

a representative of the Sierra Club in Queens – as they help us understand:

  • What clean energy is, how it is produced, and the implications of local implementation.

  • Why clean energy is the foundation of a strategy for slowing down and eventually halting the trend toward global warming.

  • How legislation at the city, state and federal level can impact this promising trend.

  • How you can get involved through changes in your energy consumption, volunteerism and voting.

 

FREE PROGRAM

 

Queens Library Forest Hills, 108-19 71st Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375  |  718.268.7934

RSVP HERE

Forum:  Understanding the Real Situation at Our Southern Border

Queens Library, Forest Hills - Thursday, June 20, 2019, 6-7:30pm

With so much contradictory information about immigration issues, it’s hard to know what’s really going on. Please join us as Nara Milanich, History Professor at Barnard College/Columbia University, breaks it down and separates truth from hype.  Bringing first-hand knowledge from a recent visit to a border detention center with her undergraduate students, she will address the following topics and answer your questions:

  • The current immigration situation at the U.S./Mexican border.

  • The reasons people are so desperate to leave their countries. 

  • The role the U.S. has played in these countries and what the U.S. can do to stabilize the situation in their home countries. 

  • Our obligations to these asylum seekers, according to U.S. and international law.

 

FREE PROGRAM

Queens Library Forest Hills, 108-19 71st Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375  |  718.268.7934

Past Events - 2019

Forum:  Understanding How NYC Charter Controls City Spending

Queens Library, Forest Hills - Thursday, April 11, 2019, 6-7:30pm

If you’re confused about the power struggle between New York State and New York City budgeting, then you won’t want to miss this forum! Join us to find out to what extent The New York City Charter Revision controls how the city spends our tax dollars, how decisions are made about changes to our neighborhoods, and the powers of our elected officials. This November, the NYC Charter Revision will be on the ballot, so it’s important to understand what’s at stake. Don't miss this informative evening as Ben Yee and representatives of the commission are on hand to highlight these issues and answer your questions.  

VIEW:  NYC Charter Schedule       NYC Charter Website

ABOUT BEN YEE

Ben Yee, a Democratic state committeeman and recent candidate for the citywide office of Public Advocate, is inspired by his passion for civics education..  

 

FREE PROGRAM
Queens Library Forest Hills, 108-19 71st Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375  |  718.268.7934

MANHATTAN SERIES:

The Structure of Federal, NY State and City Governments

6-Week Series - Thursdays, April 4 - May 16, 2019, 5:30pm

Would you like to understand our political system better and have the tools to improve it? Join us for a community conversation to learn about how our federal, state and local governments are structured and how you can make an impact. 

Empower yourself to make the changes you want by learning how the system works & what you can do to get government to respond to you.

 


Community Book Read:  On Tyranny, by Timothy Snyder

Queens Library, Forest Hills - Thursday, March 21, 2019, 6-7:30pm

Join us for an important discussion as we review the lessons presented in On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, by Timothy Snyder, history professor at Yale University. The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy.  It is important for everyone to understand the new threats we face and how they impact our political systems today.  It's not necessary to read the book in order to attend, but it is helpful (available at the Library, Kew & Willow Books--the local Kew Garden bookstore, or online.

VIEW THE 20 LESSONS - DETERMINE THE GROUP OF LESSONS YOU WANT TO  DISCUSS

ABOUT TIMOTHY SNYDER
Timothy Snyder is one of the leading American historians and public intellectuals, and enjoys perhaps greater prominence in Europe, the subject of most of his work. He is the Housum Professor of History at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.  WEBSITE
 
FREE PROGRAM
Queens Library Forest Hills, 108-19 71st Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375  |  718.268.7934

Forum:  Amazon - Lessons to be Learned

Queens Library, Forest Hills - Thursday, February 28, 2019, 6-7:30pm

Join us for an important and timely exploration into the situation surrounding Amazon's decision to move its 2nd Headquarters to Long Island City, and then its decision to not.  Topics and questions we'll discuss:

  • What went wrong?
  • Is NYC missing out on a great deal or did we dodge a bullet?
  • What does this mean for other companies that want to come to NY?
PANELISTS INCLUDE:
  • Nestor Davidson, Fordham University  
  • Lynn Ellsworth, Alliance for a Human Scale City
  • Juliette Michaelson, Regional Plan Association 
  • Jeremy Rosenberg, Community Board 2
 
FREE PROGRAM
Queens Library Forest Hills, 108-19 71st Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375  |  718.268.7934

Forum:  A Recap of the 2018 Elections, with Susan Lerner

Queens Library, Forest Hills - Thursday, January 24, 2019, 6-7:30pm

Start the new year by learning where things were left off with the results of last year's MidTerm Elections.  Join us for an in-depth analysis of the elections, and what it means for us and the state of politics since the new politicians have taken office.

 

ABOUT SUSAN LERNER

Susan Lerner is the executive director of Common Cause/New York.  She writes and speaks extensively on voting rights, election reform, campaign finance, redistriicting, ethics, transparency and other good government issues. 

 
 
FREE PROGRAM
Queens Library Forest Hills, 108-19 71st Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375  |  718.268.7934

PAST EVENTS - 2018

Forum:  Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Signing of the Universal Declaraton of Human Rights

Queens Library, Forest Hills - Thursday, Dec 13, 2018, 6-7:30pm

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, drafted by representatives from around the world, was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. As the chair of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Eleanor Roosevelt was the driving force in creating the 1948 charter of liberties which will always be her legacy.

Join us to learn more and to celebrate the anniversary with a hand copying experience of this important document. We’ll have copies so you can select and write out the sections most meaningful to you - a great way to understand what's in it. It will be an enlightening experience to share with fellow participants and a perfect ending to a year of inspiring, informative Let’s Talk Democracy events! 
 
We’ll provide light refreshments and invite you to bring snacks that reflect your heritage. 

 
FREE PROGRAM
Queens Library Forest Hills, 108-19 71st Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375  |  718.268.7934


Immigration:  A Deep Dive into Its History and Current Laws

Queens Library, Forest Hills - Thursday, Nov 8 & 15, 2018, 6-7:30pm

Session II - Getting at the Roots [Thursday, November 8, 2018]   Jane Guskin and David Wilson, authors of “The Politics of Immigration” will discuss immigration today, including the global, political and economic forces that shape migration; the racial and political implications of U.S. immigration law, policy, and practice; and related issues.

Session III - The Money Question [Thursday, November 15, 2018]   Jane Guskin and David Wilson, authors of “The Politics of Immigration” will examine the relationship of immigrants to jobs and the economy.

ABOUT JANE GUSTKIN AND DAVID L. WILSON

Jane Guskin and David L. Wilson have been writing since 1990 about immigration, labor, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Their articles have appeared in TruthoutNACLA Report on the AmericasMRZineThe Huffington Post, and other publications. For over twenty years, they co-edited Weekly News Update on the Americas, an English-language bulletin covering grassroots news from Latin America. Guskin also edited a companion publication, Immigration News Briefs. Guskin and Wilson are both based in New York City, where they work for immigrant and labor rights.

 
FREE PROGRAM
Queens Library Forest Hills, 108-19 71st Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375  |  718.268.7934

MANHATTAN SERIES:

The Structure of Federal, NY State and City Governments

6-Week Series - Thursdays, Sept 20 - Oct 18, 2018, 5:30pm

Would you like to understand our political system better and have the tools to improve it?  Join us for a community conversation to learn about how our federal, state and local governments are structured and how you can make an impact.  This 6-week series will cover different topics each week with different experts.
 
Empower yourself to make the changes you want by learning how the system works & what you can do to get government to respond to you.
 
FREE PROGRAM
New York Public Library, Tompkins Square   331 East 10th Street    (212) 228-4747


Immigration:  A Deep Dive Into Its History and Current Laws

Queens Library, Forest Hills - Monday, October 29, 2018, 6-7:30pm

SESSON 1 - Understanding the History. Join us for an important and timely exploration into our immigration laws and how they have been applied over the years.  We kick off our 3-week Immigration Civics Series with Mae Ngai, a nationally recognized expert on the History of U.S. Immigration.   Ms. Ngai will explain the role immigration has played in our country and the reality of immigration today.  The series continues on Thursdays November 8 and November 15.  

 

ABOUT MAE NGAI

Mae Ngai, is a national authority on the history of immigration and a professor at Columbia University.  She is the author of Imposible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (2004), and The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese Ameria (2010).  More info...

 
 
FREE PROGRAM
Queens Library Forest Hills, 108-19 71st Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375  |  718.268.7934
 

Midterm Elections:  The Stakes

Queens Library, Forest Hills - Thursday, October 18, 2018, 6-7:30pm

Through voting we have the opportunity to influence the government.  Yet almost half of U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote do not and voter turnout drops off even more for midterm elections. So, what are the stakes when we don’t exercise this privilege?  Join us as we dive into the issues and choices facing us with the help of Adam Eichen, activist, communications strategist and co-author of Daring Democracy. Back by popular demand, he’ll prepare us to be better informed for the upcoming General Election on Tuesday, November 6th.

 

ABOUT ADAM EICHEN

Adam Eichen is a writer, researcher, and political organizer working to build a democracy that represents and empowers all voices in society. He serves as Communications Strategist for Equal Citizens and as a member of the Democracy Matters board of directors. In 2016, he was appointed deputy communications director for Democracy Spring, a historic national mobilization comprising more than a hundred organizations working for campaign finance and voting rights reform.

 

FREE PROGRAM
Queens Library Forest Hills, 108-19 71st Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375  |  718.268.7934

Demystifying Primaries and Elections

Queens Library, Forest Hills - Thursday, Sept 6, 2018, 6-7:30pm

Join us as City Council Member Helen Rosenthal and State Committee Member Ben Yee shed light on the upcoming New York primaries and elections. Learn how people get on the ballot, what the issues are, and how they’re being addressed by the candidates. This workshop will help you understand how the election process really works in time for the New York State Primary on Thursday, September 13th and the General Election on Tuesday, November 6th.

 
FREE PROGRAM
Queens Library Forest Hills, 108-19 71st Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375  |  718.268.7934


Demystifying City Politics and Figuring Out Where We Fit In

Queens Library, Forest Hills - Thursday, June 7, 2018

Join us for an informative look into NYC politics by social justice and political activist Sabrina Farber. Gain an understanding of our local government and insight on how to get it to work for you.  Empower yourself to make the changes you want and hold our elected officials acountable.
 
FREE PROGRAM
Queens Library Forest Hills, 108-19 71st Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375  |  718.268.7934
 
About Sabrina Farber
Sabrina Farber is a social justice and political activist who currently serves on the board of directors of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in Manhattan. She is co-chair of CBST’s Thursday social justice group, Resistance! Calls & Cards, which lobbies elected officials and appointees about issues most pressing for our community. She is co-chair of the CBST Sanctuary initiative which partners with the New Sanctuary Coalition to support immigrants who are fighting orders of detention and deportation and to lobby elected officials to create a path to citizenship for all. She spent 6 months as a full-time volunteer for the Hillary Clinton campaign which galvanized her into becoming more engaged in politics. In January, she was arrested in Washington after participating in an action demanding a clean DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) bill. 
 
 
 

Delays, Re-Routing, Station Closings...What Can We Do to Get Our Subway Back on Track

Queens Library, Forest Hills - Thursday, May 24, 2018

New York City and the region can’t survive without a good public transportation system.  Find out what's really going on and hear possible solutions from our expert panelists:

  • Jamison Dague, Director of Infrastructure Affairs of the Citizens Budget Commission
  • Rebecca Bailin, Campaign Manager, Riders Alliance
  • Sheldon Teicher, graduate student in history at the CUNY Graduate Center and "subway/train buff"

TOPICS:

  • A short history of the system 
  • Governance issues regarding the MTA Board, the governor's powers, and the relative position of other officials
  • Financing issues regarding operating and maintenance budget, capital budget, and revenue flows
  • Recommended actions for citizens to assist the reform process
  • Open discussion and questions from the audience
FREE PROGRAM
Queens Library Forest Hills, 108-19 71st Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375  |  718.268.7934

Let's Talk Democracy Expands to Manhattan! 

Join Us for Our 8-Week Series, March 14 - April 25, 6:30-8pm

If you want to better understand how our government and political systems work, then this civic series is for you.  It will cover everything from the basis of the Constitution to how federal, state and city goverment are structured to the tools that can help citizens like you make an impact.

Empower yourself to make the changes you want by learning how the system works and getting the government to respond to you.

FREE PROGRAM

Seward Park Library, 192 East Broadway, New York, NY 10002-5597   |   212.477.6770 
 

SCHEDULE OF CLASSES - WEDNESDAYS, 6:30 - 8:00PM

March 14
 
March 21
March 28
April 4
April 11
April 18
April 25
  • Federal Government: Separation of Powers among the Executive, Congressional and Judicial Branches
  • State Government: Role of Governor, State Senate and State Assembly
  • Electoral System and Roles of Citizens/Local Residents-Advocacy and Lobbying
  • City Government Part 1:  Structure and Elected Officials, City Council
  • City Government Part 2: Community Boards, Advocacy and Lobbying
  • DARING DEMOCRACY Book Talk @53rd St. Library
  • Housing and Land Use - GOLES

Let's Talk Forum:  Daring Democracy - Meet the Authors/Queens

Queens Library - thur, apr 19, 2018 , 6-7:30pm

Join us as legendary Diet for a Small Planet author Frances Moore Lappé and organizer-scholar Adam Eichen present their optimistic book Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want. With riveting stories and little-known evidence, they expose the well-orchestrated effort that has robbed Americans of their rightful power and discuss the positive actions citizens can take to achieve historic change.

Meet the authors and and join us for a discussion of the last part of the book, "Creating Solutions Together," which illustrates that even in this divisive time, Americans are  uniting across causes and ideologies to create a “canopy of hope” the authors call the Democracy Movement.  Let’s Talk Democracy provides this Forum to get everyone thinking, talking...and taking action. We invite you to join us in the conversation!  

Books will be available for sale and signing. 


Let's Talk Forum:  Daring Democracy - Meet the Author in MANHATTAN

author ADAM EICHEN JOINS US AT THE
53RD ST LIBRARY IN MANHATTAN - WED, APrIL 18, 2018, 5-6:45pm  

With insightful understanding of post-election reactions to current events, authors Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen have written an optimistic book for Americans who are asking, What do we do now?  Let’s Talk Democracy provided this community read event to get everyone thinking, talking...and taking action. 

The authors joins us for a discussion of the last part of the book, "Creating Solutions Together," which illustrates that even in this divisive time, Americans are uniting across causes and ideologies to create a "canopy of hope" the authors call the Democracy Movement.

FREE PROGRAM

53rd Street Library, 18 W. 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019  | 212.621.0670


Toward a More Perfect Union: Making Your Voice Heard Encore

WORKSHOP led by prof.essor michael krasner wed, mar 28, 2018, 6-7:30pm
Following our 6-week civics workshop, instructor Michael Krasner returns with a look back at our political state of the union. This workshop will review and analyze the first+ year of Trump's presidency in the context of the larger trends in American politics, as well as the methods, issues and emotions that produced his victory.  Professor Krasner will take us through possible futures for American politics and will paradoxically, include the idea that the present and future are not about Trump but about us. Opening remarks will be made by Dennis Walcott, President/CEO of Queens Library. 
 
FREE PROGRAM
Queens Library Forest Hills, 108-19 71st Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375  |  718.268.7934

ABOUT MICHAEL KRASNER, PROFESSOR AT QUEENS COLLEGE

An expert in government and politics, Michael Krasner is co-director of Queen's College’s Taft Institute for Government, which promotes better understanding of the political process among young people; he also is associate director of the Michael Harrington Center for Democratic Values and Social Change. Since 1970 he has taught courses on politics and the media; presidential, gubernatorial and mayoral elections; American foreign policy; public policy; and arms control and disarmament. 
More information on Prof. Krasner :  Queens Collge    |    Taft Institute


Let's Talk Forum:  Daring Democracy Community Read 

A 2-SESSION WORKSHOP - Queens Library in forest hills, tHUR, FEB 15 AND thur, apr 19, 2018 , 6-7:30pm

With insightful understanding of post-election reactions to current events, authors Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen have written an optimistic book for Americans who are asking, What do we do now?  Let’s Talk Democracy provided this community read event to get everyone thinking, talking...and taking action. 

SESSION 1 - A deep dive into the first 2 sections of the book to help us understand how we got where we are. Attendees of our civics seminar "Toward a More Perfect Union" led discussions of critical topics they’ve identified in the book. 
SESSION 2 - The authors joins us for a discussion of the last part of the book, "Creating Solutions Together," which illustrates that even in this divisive time, Americans are uniting across causes and ideologies to create a "canopy of hope" the authors call the Democracy Movement.  

Toward a More Perfect Union: Making Your Voice Heard

A 6-SESSION CIVICS SERIES - THURSDAYS, OCT TO NOV, 2017
Let's Talk Democracy (formerly IWWA) held a civics series at the Forest Hills Library that covered everything from the basis of the Constitution to what citizens could do to make an impact. Titled “Toward a More Perfect Union: MAKING YOUR VOICE HEARD,” this exciting, informative workshop was led by Queens College Political Science Professor Michael Kassner. The seven workshops took place on Thursdays, October 5 to November 16, 2017. Admission free.

ABOUT MICHAEL KRASNER, PROFESSOR AT QUEENS COLLEGE

An expert in government and politics, Michael Krasner is co-director of Queen's College’s Taft Institute for Government, which promotes better understanding of the political process among young people; he also is associate director of the Michael Harrington Center for Democratic Values and Social Change. Since 1970 he has taught courses on politics and the media; presidential, gubernatorial and mayoral elections; American foreign policy; public policy; and arms control and disarmament.

More information on Prof. Krasner :  Queens Collge    |    Taft Institute

Reading List for the Workshop - VIEW HERE


Blue Bubble.jpg Many Thanks to Our Supporters

  • We are deeply grateful to Michael Krasner for his scholastic contributions to our first workshop series. His willingness to show up to our first session in spite of a personal injury that day is a testiment to his unfailing commitment to our cause.
  • We greatly appreciate the extraordinary support of The Taft Institute at Queens College and the help that allowed us to realize our dream.
  • We are very grateful to Queens Library for their ongoing support of our organization and to the Forest Hills branch in particular for providing a welcoming venue for our events and activities.
  • Special thanks to the NY Public Library and the Seward Park Brnach for their help in our expansion to Manhattan.