Protests this week in Ferguson, Mo., marking the one-year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown continued calls for criminal justice reform, an issue that 2016 presidential candidates are under increasing pressure to address.
“Bridging the Divide,” a documentary debuting next week on PBS stations, profiles a figure who responded to racial unrest of the 1960s by amassing an urban coalition with a message of unity: Tom Bradley, the first African American mayor of a white-majority major city.
A councilman during the 1965 Watts riots (another anniversary, 50 years ago this week), Bradley waged a mayoral campaign four years later taking on intransigent city leadership, falling short to a campaign of racial fear waged by incumbent Sam Yorty. But Bradley won in a landslide in 1973, after building a coalition of African Americans and other racial minorities along with Jewish voters on L.A.’s Westside.
On the latest edition of Variety‘s PopPolitics on SiriusXM’s POTUS Channel, filmmakers Alison Sotomayor and Lyn Goldfarb talk about how Bradley’s election was a forerunner to Barack Obama’s coalition in 2008 and 2012, and how the Los Angeles mayor’s understated leadership style proved an asset throughout much of his tenure but may have been a vulnerability later, as the city experienced the riots of 1992.
“Bridging the Divide” will air on Aug. 18 at 8 p.m. PT on PBS SoCal. Photo: Tom Bradley Legacy Foundation at UCLA.
The ‘Selfie’ Vote
Hillary Clinton’s selfie with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at a fundraiser last week may have helped reach voters in their 20s, but pollster and political strategist Kristen Soltis Anderson finds that both parties are too often wanting when it comes to reaching millennials.
Anderson is the author of “The Selfie Vote: Where Millennials Are Leading America,” a deep dive into the wants and desires of the generation. The problem of appealing to millennials is particularly acute for Republicans, who often have given them “complete neglect,” and even Democrats, who tend to take them for granted.
As she tells “PopPolitics,” candidates’ task in speaking to millennials is much more than sending out a few pictures on Instagram.
Anderson says that the GOP “is not explaining our side of the story” when it comes to reaching millennials. It’s a generation that doesn’t necessarily see the American dream as owning a home in the suburbs with a white picket fence, or even owning a car. But she sees opportunity in a message that emphasizes innovation unencumbered by outdated regulation and government-mandated monopoly. Example No. 1: the experience of Uber.
What, Hillary Worry?
U.S. News’ Nikki Schwab and Deadline’s Dominic Patten talk about the huge crowds drawn to Bernie Sanders’ rallies, including an event this week that filled the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. It’s created some worry among Hillary Clinton supporters, as has the prospect that Vice President Joe Biden will enter the race.
“PopPolitics,” hosted by Variety’s Ted Johnson, airs Thursdays at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s POTUS Channel 124.