UWM’s Institute of World Affairs offers issue forums for voters

As Wisconsinites prepare to go to the polls in national elections, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel have teamed up in February to host a series of free forums designed to help voters sort out the issues.

UWM’s Institute of World Affairs presents the “Fireside Forums on Foreign Policy” on Tuesdays, Feb. 7-28, at 7 p.m. in the Fireside Lounge in the UWM Union, 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd. National and local speakers will examine four key policy issues affecting citizens. A review of the candidates’ positions on each issue, moderated by the Journal Sentinel editorial page editor David Haynes, will be held Tuesday, March 6, to finish the series.

Look for opinion pieces by forum speakers in the Crossroads section of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the Sunday before each talk.

Doris Meissner

Doris Meissner

Feb. 7: Immigration Policy and the States
Speaker: Doris Meissner, former head of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service
Respondent: Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director, Voces de la Frontera

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to review Arizona’s controversial immigration law, a leading expert on immigration explores the impact of immigrants on our society. Should individual states have a role in setting immigration policy?

Feb. 14: U.S. Energy Policy, Green Jobs and the Wisconsin Economy
Speaker: Kate Gordon, Vice President for Energy Policy, Center for American Progress
Respondent: Matt Howard, City of Milwaukee Director of Environmental Sustainability

Kate Gordon

Kate Gordon

Supporters of a green economic agenda say renewable energy, energy efficiency, mass transit, a new smart grid and other solutions to global warming have the potential to create millions of jobs. Should government play a role in this transformation of our economy?

Feb. 21: Achieving National Security in the 21st Century
Speaker: Col. Mark Mykleby, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)
Respondent: Deborah Fugenschuh, President and CEO, Donors Forum of Wisconsin

While a senior member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mykleby co-authored a ground-breaking report under the pseudonym “Mr. Y” arguing that by viewing the world through the lens of threat, we have failed to understand that influence, competitiveness and innovation are now the keys to advancing American interests. How should we best allocate resources to promote true national security?

Feb. 28: Free Trade and Wisconsin Jobs
Speaker: Edward Alden, Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow and former Financial Times Washington Bureau Chief
Respondent: Phil Neuenfeldt, President, Wisconsin State AFL-CIO

As the U.S. pursues free trade agreements around the globe, supporters point to increased opportunities for American businesses, while opponents characterize the deals as job-killers. Which trade policies provide the most benefit to people in Wisconsin and across our nation?

Mar. 6: Policies and Politics: The Issues in the 2012 Election

This capstone session examines statewide opinion polling data related to the issues and reviews of the positions of the major political parties and their candidates for national office.