exclusives | August 20, 2015

Lavin Weekly #3: Fishman, Bazelon, Majd, & Garrett

1. People Keep Talking about Charles Fishman’s Latest Article

Charles Fishman’s NYT op-ed “How California Is Winning the Drought” continues to spark conversations. Fishman stopped by KCRW’s “Press Play” and 89.3 KPCC’s “Take Two”—two California radio shows in-touch with the country’s top issues—to defend his disruptive position on a crisis with global implications. With measured optimism, Fishman takes on drought and California’s resilient plans for conservation, turning heads with his solid research and surprising findings. As water scarcity becomes a problem for us all, Fishman (author of The Big Thirst) will continue to be a vital authority.

2. Emily Bazelon Writes on Immigration in The New York Times

In “The Unwelcome Return of ‘Illegals,’” NYT writer Emily Bazelon has written a timely piece on how Republican politicians have a controversial habit of calling undocumented workers ‘illegals.’ As the author of Sticks and Stones—an authoritative text on bullying—Bazelon is well-suited to discussing slights. This one, in particular, jeopardizes GOP success by alienating Latino voters. “Strip the noun from [illegal immigrants],” she writes, “and the entire identity of a person who crosses the border without permission, or outstays his or her visa, is reduced to that of a criminal: What rights could he or she be entitled to? ‘Illegals’ becomes the noun, the insult and the dismissal.” The article also provides a brief history of immigration and immigrant rights in the U.S., making it important reading for anyone seeking deeper insight into the status of undocumented workers around the world.

3. Iran Authority Hooman Majd Weighs in on the US Nuclear Deal

One of our best interpreters and authorities on Iran, Hooman Majd, has offered his informed opinion on the controversial nuclear deal: an agreement that will have incalculable repercussions for Iran, the Middle East, and the world. Writing in The New York Times, Majd (author of The Ayatollah Begs to Differ and The Ayatollah’s Democracy) takes the pulse of Iran and reports what ordinary people think of the deal. He reports a growing sense of optimism, the sense that Iran may now “henceforth be treated as an adult, and not the errant child, of the world community.” Ultimately, “Iranians [are] breathing a sigh of relief that maybe, just maybe, things can get better for them economically, socially and politically.”

4. Health Expert Laurie Garrett Draws Crucial Takeaways from the Ebola Crisis

In “Ebola’s Lessons,” leading expert on global health Laurie Garrett interrogates the World Health Organization’s inadequate response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak. She states that the “WHO appeared powerless and inept in response, unable to enforce its own regulations”—so much so that there is now “a question of whether the world actually needs it.” She also outlines the history of the disease, and the world’s failures—and successes—in battling it. This is a weighty, impactful article that should be required reading for anyone invested in health care, virology, the state of Africa, and how we might respond better, faster, to the next major outbreak. “In the end,” Garrett writes, “the world must come to grips with the fact that future epidemics are not just likely but also inevitable and prepare to deal with them more effectively.” 

To book Charles Fishman, Emily Bazelon, Hooman Majd, or Laurie Garrett for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency speakers bureau.

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leadership | August 19, 2015