Previously on Forum

Van Jones poses for a portrait.

In the wake of President Trump’s election, CNN commentator Van Jones tearfully said, “This was a whitelash against a changing country. It was a whitelash against a black president in part.” To better understand Trump supporters, Jones sat down with them at their dinner tables to discuss politics, their reasons for voting for Trump, and why many had voted for Obama in the two previous elections. Jones joins us to talk about his new book, “Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together,” which was inspired by his CNN show “The Messy Truth with Van Jones.”

Van Jones,
social entrepreneur, political commentator and TV host; author, “Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart & How We Come Together”

A well-wisher drops off flowers at the site where 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle was killed on Pier 14 in San Francisco.

The jury has been chosen and opening statements are set to begin Monday in the murder trial of Kate Steinle, the 32-year-old woman who was shot to death along the San Francisco Embarcadero in 2015 by an undocumented immigrant with a felony record. The defendant, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, had been deported five times and was released from a San Francisco jail just two months before the shooting. The fact that San Francisco released Zarate instead of contacting immigration enforcement has brought national attention to San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy, though some say Zarate’s immigration status and the city’s policy has little, if anything, to do with the shooting. We’ll preview the trial.

Marisa Lagos,
reporter, KQED’s California Politics & Government Desk

Firefighters set a backfire to protect houses in Adobe Canyon during the Nuns Fire on October 15, 2017 near Santa Rosa, California.

The Bay Area had a light rain this past Thursday night. That’s great news for firefighting efforts, but it’s also a reminder that floods and mudslides pose a danger for fire-ravaged areas. Forum discusses possibilities for floods and mudslides when harder rains arrive, and we’ll also talk about whether toxic runoff from the fires could endanger water resources.

Mike Mierzwa,
lead flood management planner, California Department of Water Resources
Matt St. John, executive officer, North Coast Regional Water Board

See More of KQED’s Fire Coverage at

Protesters greet senators leaving Ronald Regan Washington National Airport in Terminal B on June 22, 2017 in Washington, DC

When President Obama appointed him in 2014, Vivek Murthy became America’s youngest-ever surgeon general. He says he was making progress on the fight against opioid and alcohol addiction when he was abruptly dismissed by President Trump in April. Since then, he’s continued to speak out against Obamacare repeal efforts and the ravages of gun violence and substance abuse. Murthy joins us in the studio to talk about his stint as “America’s Doctor” and his recent efforts to highlight loneliness and stress as major public health issues.

Vivek Murthy,
Physician and Former U.S. Surgeon General

Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon exits an elevator in the lobby of Trump Tower, November 11, 2016 in New York City.

Steve Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News and former chief strategist for President Trump, will be a keynote speaker at the California Republican Party’s fall convention, a 3-day event opening Friday in Anaheim. We’ll preview the convention and talk about the future of the party in California, where less than 26 percent of registered voters are Republican.


Scott Shafer, senior editor for KQED’s California Politics and Government desk

Harmeet Dhillon, national committeewoman for California Republican National Committee; former vice-chair of the California Republican party

marijuana plants

The fires in Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties have hit the marijuana industry hard. Farmers along the North Coast were preparing for recreational marijuana’s California debut this January. Instead, an estimated one third of their crops have burned at the peak of harvest season. Federal restrictions on marijuana limit growers’ access to credit and insurance so many farmers saw their cash savings go up in smoke. We’ll discuss the damage and plans to bounce back.

Mentioned on Air:
California Growers Association Wildfire Recovery Fund

More KQED Wildfire Coverage at

The political divide in the U.S. on such issues as the environment, immigration, race and the role of government is wider today than ever before, according a new study by Pew Research Center. A San Francisco project is seeking to bridge that divide and spur dialogue between those on the left and the right. We’ll hear about the project and talk to participants about their experiences connecting with people they might normally avoid.

Chris Collins, creator, Glide’s Bridging the Divide project
Catherine Montalbo, former leftist who now identifies as conservative
Winnie Fink, member Glide Church
Tom Canaday, member, Bay Area Conservatives

More Information:

Bridging the Divide

Smoke continues to rise from the Hilton Sonoma Wine Country on October 9, 2017 in Santa Rosa, California.

Though this week so far has brought some good news regarding the containment of the North Bay fires, business is far from usual. Early estimates put the region’s loss of economic output at $200 million, which is expected to rise. In this segment we’ll look at how the fires are affecting the region’s wine and tourism industries, which account for about one in four jobs in Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties.

Chris Canning, mayor, Calistoga
Karissa Kruse, president, Sonoma County Winegrowers
Jill Techel, mayor, Napa
Farida Jhabvala Romero, reporter, KQED News
Christopher Thornberg, founding partner, Beacon Economics

More Information:
More of KQED’s wildfire coverage at

Production executive Harvey Weinstein speaks on November 8, 2013 at the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC.

Accusations of sexual assault and harassment against producer Harvey Weinstein by some of Hollywood’s biggest names prompted thousands of women to post “#metoo” on social media, signaling that they too have been sexually assaulted, raped or harassed. The #metoo campaign has succeeded in highlighting how widespread the problem of sexual assault is, but what comes next? In this segment we’ll explore what constitutes harassment and assault, how companies and individuals can mitigate it and what it will take to turn momentum and awareness into change. And we would like to hear from you — if you posted #metoo, what kind of responses did you receive? What conversations did the post spur? Or if you didn’t post, why did you decide not to?

Adama Iwu, government affairs director
Debra Katz, partner, Katz, Marshall & Banks LLP
Audra Williams, writer
Wagatwe Wanjuki, social media specialist, Daily Kos; co-founder, Survivors Eradicating Rape Culture

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor

KQED Public Media for Northern CA