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Save Our Heritage Organisation

November 9
Paradise Plundered:
Fiscal Crisis and Governance Failures in San Diego

Lecture & Book Signing
Adobe Chapel - 3963 Conde Street
Historic Old Town San Diego

Paradise Plundered book coverJoin authors Steven P. Erie and Vladimir Kogan as they discuss their illuminating new book Paradise Plundered: Fiscal Crisis and Governance Failures in San Diego.

About the book
The early 21st century has not been kind to California's reputation for good government. But the Golden State's governance flaws reflect worrisome national trends with origins in the 1970s and 1980s.

Until recently, San Diego seemed immune to such systematic governance disorders. This sunny beach town entered the 1990s proclaiming to be "America's Finest City," but in a few short years its reputation went from "Futureville" to "Enron-by-the-Sea." In this eye-opening and telling narrative, Steven P. Erie, Vladimir Kogan, and Scott A. MacKenzie mix policy analysis, political theory, and history to explore the failures of governance in San Diego.

Growing distrust of government, a demand for services but no taxes to pay for them, a sharp decline in enlightened leadership and effective civic watchdogs, and dysfunctional political institutions have all contributed to the current governance malaise.

Using untapped primary sources-interviews with key decision makers and public documents-and benchmarking San Diego with other leading California cities, Paradise Plundered examines critical dimensions of San Diego's governance failure.

Far from a sunny story of paradise and prosperity, this account takes stock of an important but understudied city, its failed civic leadership, and poorly performing institutions, policymaking, and planning.

About the authors
Steven P. Erie is a Professor of Political Science, Adjunct Professor of History, and Director of the Urban Studies and Planning Program at UC San Diego. He has served on the Governor's Commission on Building for the 21st Century; the Board of Directors of Los Angeles Water and Power Associates; the San Diego Strong Mayor Steering Committee and the Citizens Advisory Committee on Mayor-Council Transition; and the San Diego Regional Fire Safety Forum. He is a member of Lambda Alpha International and the Urban Land Institute.

Vladimir Kogan is a Ph.D. candidate at UC San Diego's Department of Political Science. He studies urban politics, direct democracy, and local political economy. In 2009-10, he was a research fellow at the Bill Lane Center for the American West, Stanford University, and was awarded the 2010 Alma H. Young Emerging Scholar Award by the Urban Affairs Association. Before coming back to academia, he worked as a reporter covering local politics in San Diego.

Scott A. MacKenzie is Assistant Professor of Political Science at UC Davis. He is unfortunately unable to participate in this lecture.

TICKETS (Advance purchase & at the door)
Lecture only $5 (Books will be available for purchase from the authors and are $24.95)

Purchase tickets
Call (619) 297-9327
In person
- Whaley House Museum Shop, 2476 San Diego Avenue in Old Town San Diego
- Marston House Museum Shop, 3525 Seventh Avenue in Balboa Park

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