UofP lecture on Distributive Justice

2024 Mazzocco Lecture on Distributive Justice with Former Congressman Larry LaRocco
University of Portland Press Release,

We are pleased to announce former Congressman and UP alum Larry LaRocco as the featured speaker for The Mazzocco Lecture on Distributive Justice on Tuesday, March 12, 2024. LaRocco was the U.S. Representative for Idaho’s First District (D) from 1991-95 and will present: “Do Right, Risk Consequences: Perspective on politics and life during an era of increased threats to democracy.”

As political conflicts lead to widening gaps in our society and the US and global economies create wealth for some and instability for others, a deadlocked Congress leads to greater disparities in our society. Within days of being sworn in as a U.S. Representative, LaRocco faced a vote on war that threatened his re-election. As a deficit hawk in Congress, LaRocco had to decide how to deal with the limited options to balance the federal budget. He chose a path that achieved national goals but opened him up to unfounded attacks at a time his party’s president was unpopular.

How do threats to democracy occur and what can we as individual Americans do to right the ship of state?

In his lecture, LaRocco will discuss the challenges of representing constituents, adhering to the Constitution, and serving multiple masters while upholding ethical/moral norms. LaRocco looks at ways to put public service above blind obedience to ideology in a divided country. With a seemingly perpetually divided Congress, elected officials must attempt to rise above conspiracy theories, misinformation, multiple channels of money, and the ever-present role of influencers.

Join us to experience a unique perspective on civic engagement and how elected representatives can drift from their initial reasons for public service into an environment dominated by political survival.

This event is free and open to all.

Tuesday March 12, 2024, 5:00 p.m. Brian Doyle Auditorium, Dundon Berchtold Hall.

About The Mazzocco Lecture: William James Mazzocco graduated from University of Portland in 1937 with a degree in Economics, launching his 35-year professional career spanning a dozen federal agencies (including the White House) and four continents. After serving in WWII, Bill served for more than 8 years as a Senior Staff Officer on the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe. From there his professional work included aid posts in Brazil, West Africa, and Vietnam. His dedication as an international economist was inspired by his studies at UP, where he was introduced to Msgr. John A Ryan’s seminal work Distributive Justice. The Mazzocco Lecture is meant to highlight the values that comprise the concept of distributive justice, which is centered on the equitable distribution of resources and a belief that government should strive to promote the common good.

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