Prop talk: USC experts can speak on health, education

October 24, 2016

Seventeen propositions are included on California’s Nov. 8 ballot and the USC professors below are prepared to address media inquiries on the following topics.

Contact: USC Media Relations at (213) 740-2215 or

(Photo/Chris Potter)

Proposition 56: Increases cigarette tax by $2.00 per pack, with equivalent increases on electronic cigarettes that contain nicotine and other tobacco products.

Adam Leventhal, an associate professor of preventive medicine and psychology, is the director of the USC Health, Emotion & Addiction Laboratory in the Keck School of Medicine of USC. He is an expert on smoking, vaping, addiction and mental health.

Contact: (323) 442-8222 or

John Monterosso, an associate professor of psychology in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, is the director of USC’s Addiction & Self Control Lab. He studies the mechanisms underlying human self-control through behavioral economics and cognitive neuroscience.

Contact: or (213) 740-6982

Proposition 61: Does not allow state agencies to purchase prescription drugs at prices higher than the lowest price paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Dana Goldman, director of the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, is an expert in health care reform, health economics and the Affordable Care Act.

Contact: (213) 740-0548 or

Sheila Murphy, professor of communication in the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, is an expert on decision-making and health communication. She can speak on how different advocacy groups or candidates craft their narratives to influence voters.

Contact: or (213) 740-0945

Dan Schnur, director of the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll and director of the Unruh Institute of Politics of USC, can speak from a political scientist’s perspective about the industry’s lobbying campaigns.

Contact: or (213) 740-8964


(Photo/K.W. Barrett via Creative Commons)

Proposition 51: Approves $9 billion in general obligation bonds to build and repair K-12 public schools, charter and vocation schools and community colleges.
Proposition 55: Extends the temporary personal income tax on earnings over $250,000, with revenues allocated to K-12 schools, community colleges and sometimes health care.

Julie Marsh, associate professor of education, at the USC Rossier School of Education, is an expert on education policy implementation, governance and accountability.

Contact: or (213) 740-3710

Larry Picus, professor of education at the USC Rossier School of Education and associate dean for faculty affairs, is an expert on the public financing of education. He can speak on the effects new and existing state bonds for education will have on California schools.


Proposition 58: Allows schools to use bilingual education to enhance English-language proficiency efforts for students.

Ekaterina Moore is an assistant professor of clinical education who specializes in second-language learning. Her interests are in social aspects of second-language acquisition, identity construction in language classrooms, classroom language socialization and heritage language education.


Eugenia Mora-Flores, a professor of clinical education at USC Rossier, is an expert on bilingual education and how children learn to speak and read. She can speak on Proposition 58 as well as its predecessor, Proposition 227.



General prop talk

John Matsusaka, executive director of the Initiative and Referendum Institute at USC, can address general questions about California’s many propositions.


The USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll, conducted by SurveyMonkey, asked California voters about their support for propositions 55, 56, 57, 60, 61, 62, 63 and 64. You can view the results here and the full results here.

About the Poll: The latest USC/Dornsife Los Angeles Times Poll, the largest statewide survey of registered voters, was conducted Sept. 1-8 by SurveyMonkey. The full sample of 4,212 voters 18 and older has a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points. Results on questions about ballot measures have a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. Additional results on other ballot issues will be made available later this week.

About the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences/Los Angeles Times Poll: The USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll is a series of statewide public opinion polls in California, designed to survey voter attitudes on a wide range of political, policy, social and cultural issues.
Conducted at regular intervals throughout the year, the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll is the largest statewide poll of registered voters and has been widely cited, helping to inform the public and to encourage discourse on key political and policy issues.

About the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics: The Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics is dedicated to bridging the academic study of politics with practical experience in the field. The Unruh Institute channels its efforts by offering courses in applied politics, a variety of speaker series and an extensive political internship program. Its goals are to engage public officials with the USC community and to facilitate the discussion of relevant issues across campus.

About USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences: The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences is the heart of the university. The largest, oldest and most diverse of USC’s 19 schools, USC Dornsife is composed of more than 30 academic departments and dozens of research centers and institutes. USC Dornsife is home to approximately 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and more than 750 faculty members with expertise across the humanities, social sciences and sciences.

About the Los Angeles Times: The Los Angeles Times is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country, with a daily readership of 2 million and 3 million on Sunday, and a combined print and interactive local weekly audience of 4.5 million. The fast-growing draws more than 10 million.

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