From the Editor

2014 was a messy year for Progressive Democracy.  I and the board of The American Institute for Progressive Democracy apologize for that.  The regular publishing schedule for the year has been interrupted twice by the production of special issues of the online journal – since we have only one web page on which to publish those special issues have disrupted the normal schedule.

On the other hand, the origin of the material in the special issues and their content can be counted as a success in terms of providing ideas and information for political progressives.

First, the Institute conducted a major forum on water issues.  The papers for that conference and a full video record of its proceedings were both published by this journal and can now be located in the Archives (see left hand column.)

Second, a significant conference on oil, specifically the role of oil in the Los Angeles basin and consequently entitled PetroLA, was held at Pomona College.  The Institute agreed to publish its proceedings.  It is that material that constitutes the present (special) issue.

Char Miller, the organizer of the conference and guest editor of this issue, provides an overview of the issues and the conference.  While the essay by Aaron Katzenstein is wonkish it is also informative about the technical issues in air quality management in the LA Basin.  For those living in the basin, Nancy Quam-Wicker’s piece on the history of oil in the area is an amazing historical reminder of how things once were in Los Angeles.  The eminent environmental historian and thinker Rod Nash contributes a further reminder of a specific event:  the big Santa Barbara oil spill.  Included in the Nash article is a reprinting of his major environmental declaration of 1970 – it is very worth re-reading that these decades later.

Since it is important to leave published material up for a significant time, I do not plan on publishing the next regular issue (the 23rd) and restarting a quarterly schedule until March 1.  However, the Institute will be conducting two important forums on Economic Inequality in March of 2015.  No doubt the presentations made there will be contained in another special issue in mid-year.  So stay tuned.