Evan Meyer welcomes Pete Peterson, the Dean of Public Policy at Pepperdine University on this episode of Meyerside Chats.

Recorded September 22, 2022

Evan Meyer welcomes Pete Peterson, the Dean of Public Policy at Pepperdine University on this episode of Meyerside Chats. 

Pete Peterson is a leading national speaker and writer on issues related to civic participation, and the use of technology to make government more responsive and transparent. He was the first executive director of the bi-partisan organization, Common Sense California, which in 2010 joined with the Davenport Institute at the School of Public Policy to become the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership.

Peterson has co-created and currently co-facilitates the training seminar, “Public Engagement: The Vital Leadership Skill in Difficult Times” a program that has been attended by over 4,500 municipal officials, and he also helped to develop the program, “Leading Smart Communities,” which explores the ways in which technology is changing local government processes. Peterson has served as the chair of the Governance Committee for the Public Interest Technology-University Network.

Peterson writes widely on public engagement for a variety of major news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle, as well as numerous blogs. He contributed the chapter, “Place As Pragmatic Policy” to the edited volume, Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America (New Atlantis Books, 2014), and the chapter “Do-It Ourselves Citizenship” in the volume, Localism in the Mass Age (Wipf & Stock, 2018).

Peterson has been a public affairs fellow at The Hoover Institution, and he serves on the Leadership Council of the bipartisan nonprofit, California Forward, on the National Advisory Council for the Ashbrook Center, as well as on the Scholars Council for Braver Angels. Peterson has served as a member of the Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship, which is organized by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, as well as the nonprofit, Sophos Africa.

Peterson was the Republican candidate for California Secretary of State in 2014.

Meyerside Chats seeks to eliminate the “us and them” narrative and toxic polarization by striving to create virtuous community leadership, and authentic conversation.  The intent is to showcase the humanity in those that take on the often thankless jobs of public service through civil discourse, and honoring differing points of view.

Interested in any of the civic topics below? Please tune in to Meyerside Chats on the Santa Monica Daily Press


Pepperdine and election season activities  |  1:00

The problem with politics |  2:30

Fear of Trump on the left, fear of over-wokism on the right | 3:15

How do federal politics play into state & local politics |  4:15

The recent change of ideals & current identity crisis of democrats and republicans | 10:00

The manifestation of radical individualism | 12:00

Religion.. How it is and ought to be in government  | 15:00

Embracing “civic virtues” for resolving political disagreements |  18:40

“Presentism” and the civic virtue of humility | 22:00

The history of civics & pandemic management | 25:00

“Applied history” | 27:00

Science vs scientism | 29:00

The quest for “truth” & the word becoming synonymous with “feelings” | 34:00

Jonathan Haidt’s, “the Righteous Mind” and the five moral foundations  |  41:00

How to begin local policy conversations peacefully with a single question | 45:00

The issues with public comment at city council meetings | 52:00

Robby George speech… if you don’t challenge yourself physically or mentally, you simply can’t learn. | 56:00

There can be two rights, and the problem with voting is it only offers up/down | 59:00

With increasing secularism, policy is becoming religion | 1:01:30