CPF Board and Former Fellow Barbara Boxer Headshot
Center for the Political Future

Fall 2020 Fellow

Barbara Boxer is a former U.S. Senator, Congresswoman, and County Supervisor. She served the state of California in the U.S. Senate for 24 years and in the House of Representatives for 10 years before that. Her service in the Senate included chairing the Environment and Public Works Committee where she focused on the environment and infrastructure. She was a senior member on the Foreign Relations Committee where she worked for global women’s issues and for the successful use of the soft power of diplomacy. She also served as the top Democrat on the Senate Ethics Committee.

Senator Boxer has won numerous awards for her efforts to create a cleaner, healthier environment and for her dedicated work to address the threats of climate change. She has led efforts in Congress to protect California’s coast from offshore oil drilling and fought to end the unethical use of human subjects in pesticide testing by federal agencies. She worked to fund anti-gang programs, pass the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and the Community Policy “COPS” Program. Senator Boxer helped lead the floor fight for passage of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act and fought back against repeated attacks on women’s health and a woman’s right to privacy.

An author of several books, her latest one “The Art of Tough,” Boxer’s message is that every single one of us should be empowered to make life better for our communities through positive change in debate and government.

Course: Demystifying Governance and Politics

The basis of our government as defined by our founders is “We the People“ but over many years and many periods of distrust in government, too many have lost sight of what “we the people” means. Too many Americans have tuned out instead of turning out. As a result, many don’t even know the scope of government, the different levels of government and sadly they have lost sight of their own power to shape government and politics. At the end of this course, students understood how to embrace their role as informed citizens and even informed leaders.

The class was designed to be student-driven and started with a dive into the Constitution with a strong emphasis on the preamble and the Bill of Rights. They are among the most eloquent words written in any governing document and students shared the most meaningful parts to them with the class.

We looked at the difference between the Republican and Democratic parties today and discussed how they have become so far apart. What were the issues that drove that distance between them? What were the different issues driving the 2020 election in the presidential race, Senate races and congressional races? Students learned what it is like to be a member of the House and a member of the Senate from their instructor who served in both houses of Congress for decades. The last class dealt with the aftermath of the election and a deep discussion was held of what the outcome means, having had a mock debate between team Trump and team Biden the week before.


Fall 2020 Semester Recap

See what Fall 2020 Fellow Barbara Boxer said about her experience at USC’s Center for the Political Future in this video highlight.

Barbara shared her thoughts on the importance of politics, her first political experience, and her advice for having respectful political discourse in her “Quick Takes: Q&A with CPF Fellow Barbara Boxer” video