Civil Discourse Returns with PRO / CON Series at Santa Monica Pier

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Cite this page using APA, MLA, Chicago, and Turabian style guides, America’s #1 source for pro and con research on controversial issues, and the historic Santa Monica Pier announce PRO/CON @ The Pier, a nonpartisan discussion series designed to better inform public discourse on ballot measures and current issues before Election Day.

PRO/CON @ The Pier shows it is still possible to discuss politics productively and to disagree without being disagreeable. The events are free, open to the public and take place at the West End of the Santa Monica Pier on Tuesdays starting October 11.

GMOs – Should We Care?
Tuesday, October 11
6:00 – 7:00 pm

Moderator: Kamy Akhavan, President of, a nonpartisan research organization serving 25 million people.

  • (PRO): Dave Murphy, Founder and Executive Director of Food Democracy Now, a grassroots movement of more than 650,000 Americans dedicated to reforming policies relating to food, agriculture, and the environment.
  • (CON): Bob Goldberg, Distinguished Professor of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology at UCLA, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and named one of the top 20 professors in UCLA history.

Register to attend the Oct. 11 event on Facebook:

Death Penalty – Time to Repeal? [Prop 62] Tuesday, October 18
6:00 – 7:00 pm

Moderator: Ben Allen, California State Senator, whose 26th Senate District stretches from Pacific Palisades to the Palos Verdes Peninsula and from Venice to Hollywood.

  • (PRO): Gil Garcetti, former LA County District Attorney, and father of current LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and former LA Deputy District Attorney Dana Garcetti-Boldt.
  • (CON): Michele Hanisee, Deputy District Attorney for LA County and President of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys – Los Angeles.

Register to attend the Oct. 18 event on Facebook:

Cost of Education – Is College Worth It?
Tuesday, October 25
6:00 – 7:00 pm

Moderator: Maureen Langan, former PBS and Bloomberg TV journalist, and now host of a weekly radio show on KGO in San Francisco.

  • (PRO): Michelle Herczog, immediate Past President of the National Council for the Social Studies and former Co-Chair of the California Coalition for the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.
  • (CON): Dale Stephens, author of Hacking Your Education and Founder of, and one of the first recipients of the $100K Thiel Fellowship, for high school grads who delay college to pursue their dreams.

Register to attend the Oct. 25 event on Facebook:

Marijuana – To Legalize or Not? [Prop. 64] Tuesday, November 1
6:00 – 7:00 pm

Moderator: Alan Thicke, 7-time Emmy nominated actor, star of Growing Pains and Unusually Thicke, and author of How to Raise Kids Who Won’t Hate You.

  • (PRO): Karen O’Keefe, Director of State Policies for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). Karen helped shape and pass medical marijuana legislation in many states.
  • (CON): Californians Against Legalizing Marijuana. CALM is an all-volunteer political action committee dedicated to defeating any effort to legalize marijuana.

Register to attend the Nov. 1 event on Facebook:

More info @ and

Printable copy of the 4-week PRO/CON event calendar.