The community is invited to attend a free public talk by California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson at 4 p.m. on Thursday, November 17, in the Colleges Nine and Ten Multipurpose Room at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

McPherson will deliver a talk entitled "The Importance of Voting in the Democratic Process," as the Social Sciences Division's Distinguished Guest Lecture, before taking questions from the audience.

A former legislator from Santa Cruz, McPherson served in the state Assembly from 1993 until 1996 and in the state Senate from 1996 until 2004. He became the 30th secretary of state of California on March 30, 2005. A Republican, McPherson is known as a fiscal conservative and a social liberal.

"The Social Sciences Division's Distinguished Guest Lecture is intended to provide a public forum for civil discourse on issues that are important to students, faculty, and the community," said interim Social Sciences Dean Michael Hutchison. "As secretary of state, Bruce McPherson will oversee the redistricting of California and can offer insight into many issues facing the state."

For questions, contact Tricia Lyall in the Social Sciences Dean's Office at (831) 459-3212 or via e-mail at tdlyall@ucsc.edu.