Patricia Duff has spent most of her professional career in politics, working as a consultant in Washington D.C. for two of the top political strategy firms, and in New York and Los Angeles as a political organizer and as an activist.
Duff spearheads The Common Good, a non-profit, non-partisan network that encourages political participation and increased understanding of critical national issues across party lines. The group meets regularly with national leaders and experts on headline topics…
It’s impossible to wrap one’s head around the senseless and deadly attack on the children at the Sandyhook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.
Such carnage could not be possible without the ready availability of powerful guns in inappropriate hands. We cannot turn away from this event without re-opening the debate on automatic and semi-automatic weapons and ammunition. There must be a better way forward.
“Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” Screening, December 12, at MoMA
TCG members and friends can experience the courage and creativity of Ai Weiwei, China’s famous artist and activist for freedom at the documentary screening on December 12 at MoMA at 7pm. Klayman did an extraordinary job of tracking how Ai Weiwei has brilliantly fused his work as an artist and advocate for individual rights and government accountability in China. This is what others have had to say about the film: “A galvanizing documentary; An intimate portrait of the artist.” “Alison Klayman’s documentary is one of the most engagingly powerful movies of the year.” “Watching”Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” is like experiencing a thrilling unfinished symphony: The story is enthralling, but it’s not over, and there’s no telling where it’s going. Which makes what we see on screen all the more involving.” – Kenneth Turan “Documentarian Alison Klayman’s prismatic portrait of the artist, ‘Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,’ is a useful primer, though it also focuses a bit more on the activism than on the art. That’s probably because, for its subject, the line between the two is so indistinct.”
CHINA’S LEADING ARTIST AND DISSIDENT- SEE THE DOCUMENTARY
Wednesday, December 12th, 7pm: REACT to FILM and The Common Good present a screening of the Academy Award short-listed documentary, “Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry” at MoMA. “Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry” is the inside story of a political dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics. The screening will be followed by a discussion with director Alison Klayman.
ABOUT AI WEIWEI Artist Ai Weiwei was born in Beijing in 1957, the year his father Ai Qing, a revolutionary poet, was exiled by the Communist party. The family returned to Beijing in 1975. After studying at Parsons school of design in New York, he helped design the 2008 Olympics Bird’s Nest stadium; other works include Sunflower Seeds. Openly critical of China’s stance on human rights and democracy, he was arrested in 2011, imprisoned for two months and investigated for tax evasion. He is married to the artist Lu Qing, and has a son.
ABOUT THE FILM Ai Weiwei is China’s most famous international artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. Against a backdrop of strict censorship and an unresponsive legal system, Ai expresses himself and organizes people through art and social media. In response, Chinese authorities have shut down his blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention. “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” is the inside story of a dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics. First-time director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to Ai Weiwei while working as a journalist in China. Her detailed portrait provides a nuanced exploration of contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures. [MORE]
The Common Good presented a special screening of an extraordinary documentary film, “ETHEL”, on December 4th at MoMA.
“Ethel” takes the audience into the private and public life and work of Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert F. Kennedy and, as the film proves, a force in her own right.
Two of Ethel and Robert Kennedy’s grown off-spring were with us — Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Rory Kennedy and RFK Memorial Center President Kerry Kennedy joined in an informal conversation with author-journalist Richard Wolffe.
I’ve now seen the film three times and I always find some new insight about this amazing family, couple, individuals and the drive to help others.
ALAN SIMPSON: GO BIG OR GO HOME – THE FISCAL CLIFF Senator Alan Simpson “The Fiscal Cliff: Go Big or Go Home” On Monday, December 3, The Common Good presented former Republican Senator Alan Simpson, co-chairman of the Simpson-Bowles plan and a key figure in the budget reform debate. The plain spoken former senator provided an intimate briefing on the impending “fiscal cliff” and prospects for a bipartisan solution to these problems. With the debate on the “fiscal cliff” and budget balancing dominating Washington and the national news-cycle, it was a great opportunity to hear the ultimate insider’s view on how or whether our political parties find common ground before the US goes over the “fiscal cliff” at the end of this year.
GOVERNOR CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN
The Common Good hosts a lunch and discussion with Governor Christine Todd Whitman on May 10th. The topic is “Can there be more Reasonable Ground in our Political Process?” This past fall, Governor Whitman characterized the problem we have in public policy and politics today as “a small base of very active political partisans on both sides that control the process.” She added that even though political parties “feel like they have to placate or appeal to a more and more narrow base in order to get the nomination, the American people as a whole are not extreme.” With the 2012 Presidential Election campaign already heating up, how do we handle the increasing partisan unwillingness to find common ground in making national policy? How do we fix the broken political system? Former Governor Whitman will tackle these questions and more.
Governors Tim Kaine & Christine Todd Whitman – both at TCG
Two former governors who have earned national reputations – one is a Republican and the other a Democrat – are coming to TCG. On Tuesday, May 1, The Common Good will host a luncheon discussion with former Governor Tim Kaine, Virginia’s 70th Governor and current candidate for the U.S. Senate. Governor Christine Todd Whitman, who served as the 50th Governor of New Jersey (R) and head of the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush, joins The Common Good for a private lunch discussion on Thursday, May 10.
OCCUPY WALL STREET – THE DOCUMENTARY
SnagFilms in conjunction with The Common Good presents the live world premiere of #whilewewatch the OCCUPY WALL STREET DOCUMENTARY #whilewewatch is directed by Kevin Breslin, whose recent doc “Livingfor 32″ (2010) was short-listed for an Academy Award, will have its world premiere at The Paley Center for Media, as the film is simultaneously streamed to a global audience starting at at 8pm ET/5pm PT at Snagfilms.com. #whilewewatch is the first definitive film to emerge from Zuccotti Park. A gripping portrait of the “Occupy Wall Street” media revolution – with full access and cooperation from the masterminds who made #OccupyWallStreet a reality.
THE NEW YORK TIMES CONFERENCE ON ENERGY
Perhaps because energy is a priority across global economic agendas, The New York Times hosted a conference for leaders in energy to talk about the globalization of demand and debate how to finance and secure the world energy supply. More >>
“WOMEN WHO CARE” UPC LUNCH, MAY 3
Women Who Care was created to honor female role models representing various segments of the community. It is a celebration of women who have blazed new paths, broken glass ceilings and inspired others to achieve. More >>