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PV Democrats November Meeting

November 20, 2022 @ 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Join us for our in-person November club meeting.  Our meeting starts at 2:30 pm, but join us at 2 pm to chat with other Democrats.

The theme for this month’s meeting is Protecting Our Democracy

Featured speaker is Joel McCleary, former Deputy Assistant to President Carter and co-founder of Keep Our Republic, which is dedicated to protecting our democracy.  Joel will speak about the results of the November mid-term elections and his work with Keep Our Republic.


Mr. McCleary has suggested reading the book The Chaos Machine by Max Fisher as a prelude to our meeting. The Chaos Machine is an in-depth look at the evolution of social media and its damaging role in restructuring our view of the world by rewiring our brains.

For those not able to read the book, a more superficial look at threats posed by social media can be found in a truly scary documentary on Netflix called The Social Dilemma. Facebook and social media have dramatically warped the public sense of reality in a way that is unsustainable. Many of the key alarmists in this movie are mentioned in The Chaos Machine.

If you don’t have Netflix, try watching Social Media’s Role in America’s Polarized Political Climate of 60 Minutes. If you don’t have time for any of these options, read our book review in the October newsletter.


Mr. McCleary is a co-founder of Keep Our Republic, a non-profit bipartisan civic organization focused on Presidential emergency powers and asymmetrical threats to the Republic.

He was a White House Deputy Assistant to President Carter, where he oversaw an agency wide personnel and management review. He served as Treasure of the Democratic National Committee and sat on its National Executive Committee.

Mr. McCleary was President of Sawyer-Miller International, a leading international political and media consulting firm of its time. The firm ran presidential and prime minister campaigns in 15 countries plus developed strategic plans for international governments and companies such as Coca Cola, Goldman Sachs, and Apple.

He has led projects for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security regarding pandemic and biological defense issues. With corporate partners such as Merck, GE, IBM, and UPMC he developed an innovative flexible biologics production solution for mass pandemic and casualty events. In 2013 he conducted the first review of the former U.S. offensive biological and toxin weapons programs. Mr. McCleary has also prepared briefing materials for the U.S. Congress on the threats of assassination with Chemical, Biological, or Radiological (CBR) agents.

McCleary served under Chairman John Mekalanos on the board of advisors for the Microbiology Department of Harvard Medical School.

For a decade he has given an annual lecture series at Stanford University on the threats of pandemic and biological events.

He is a managing partner of Four Seasons Ventures.

McCleary has written for the New York Times, Politico, Just Security, and the Boston Globe.

He is a graduate of Harvard College. He resides in Washington, DC.

We have resumed in-person meetings at the Peninsula Center Library Community Room. To ensure COVID safety, we’re asking all in-person attendees to wear an N95, KN95, or a KF94 equivalent MASK.  Zoom access will be provided for those who cannot attend in-person.  To protect attendees, we will not be serving refreshments at this meeting.


November 20, 2022
2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Event Category:


Peninsula Center Library
701 Silver Spur Road
Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274 United States
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