A photo of the US Constitution

The Future of the Democratic Party

October 14, 2021
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Levitt Center for University Advancement

The second discussion in the series featured alternative views on the challenges facing the Democrats and the impact that the internal discussions occurring in the party will have on policy - both when in the majority and when in the minority.

Tracy Osborn, PhD, associate professor of Political Science, served as Moderator. 

Keynote Speakers:

  • Dave Loebsack, former member of the US House of Representatives for Iowa’s 2nd District, on how the Party changed during his 14 years. 
  • Seung Min Kim, reporter for the Washington Post, on how differences within the Party affect their ability to pass legislation. 
  • Thomas Holbrook, professor of Government, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, on how philosophical and demographic differences among democratic voters may affect the 2022 and 2024 elections. 
  • Larry Grisolano, Democratic Party Consultant and Media Consultant, on how public perception of the policy differences within the Democratic Party might affect their voting patterns.

Reactors for the discussion:

  • Nick Salazar, League of United Latin American Citizens
  • Stacey Walker, Linn County Supervisor District 1
  • Representative Lindsay James, Dubuque County 
  • Representative Eric Gjerde, Linn County

Topics discussed included:

  • How has the democratic party changed over the last 10-20 years?
  • How do the policy differences in the democratic party affect their ability to pass their legislative agenda?
  • How might the philosophical and demographic differences among democratic voters affect the 2022 and 2024 elections?

This event was free and open to the public, and is available below in its entirety. Read an article about the event in the Daily Iowan here.


Senior Research Fellow Politics and Policy Research Program
Associate Professor Department of Political Science
White House Reporter Washington Post
Professor University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Former US House Representative for the State of Iowa
Supervisor Linn County Board of Supervisors
State Representative Iowa District 67
State Director League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa
State Representative Iowa District 99
The Forkenbrock Series provides a forum for dialogue about policy areas from applied, academic, and interdisciplinary perspectives. The series was established in honor of David Forkenbrock, a nationally recognized transportation researcher. Dr. Forkenbrock established the Public Policy Center at the University of Iowa in 1987 and directed the Center until 2007. His vision was to enable public and private sector decision makers to work with faculty, staff, and student researchers to explore solutions to complex problems related to the public interest.
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Dragana Petic at dragana-petic@uiowa.edu.