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KQED's Forum


Forum finds the most interesting stories about where we live, who we are, and charts where our region and world are headed. Hosts Mina Kim and Alexis Madrigal invite communities in the Bay Area and California to engage in meaningful conversation in a two-hour live show that informs and challenges listeners with big ideas and different viewpoints.

Forum finds the most interesting stories about where we live, who we are, and charts where our region and world are headed. Hosts Mina Kim and Alexis Madrigal invite communities in the Bay Area and California to engage in meaningful conversation in a two-hour live show that informs and challenges listeners with big ideas and different viewpoints.


San Francisco, CA




Forum finds the most interesting stories about where we live, who we are, and charts where our region and world are headed. Hosts Mina Kim and Alexis Madrigal invite communities in the Bay Area and California to engage in meaningful conversation in a two-hour live show that informs and challenges listeners with big ideas and different viewpoints.




How ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ Highlights San Francisco’s Lesser-Known Neighborhoods

One of the key action scenes in the new Marvel Studios film, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” involves a city bus losing control on California Street in San Francisco’s Nob Hill neighborhood. Other scenes are filmed in the city’s Richmond District -- not a typical locale for a major Hollywood production. The film, released Sept. 3, celebrates San Francisco and Asian Americans in other ways as well. We’ll talk about San Francisco’s role in the movie, which is already one of the...


Larry Elder’s Rise Prompts Look at Direction of Black Conservative Movement in California

Gov. Gavin Newsom beat the attempt to recall him this week handily, with over 60% of the vote, so far. But the results haven’t seemed to phase failed Republican challenger Larry Elder, who’s proclaimed he’s not leaving California’s political stage. Elder’s rise prompted Los Angeles Times columnist Erika D. Smith to ponder if he could usher in a new era of Black conservatism in California, even while he embraces Trump and denies the existence of systemic racism. As we wind down from this...


A Eulogy to Alt-Weeklies as SF Weekly Stops Publishing

Last week, SF Weekly, the free alternative newspaper, announced that it would cease publication for the foreseeable future. The loss of the paper, which won numerous accolades, including a George K. Polk Award for investigative reporting on the U.S. Navy's handling of nuclear waste at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, has been called incalculable. Its closure echoes the 2014 demise of the Weeklys bitter rival, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and it leaves the city with no alt-weeklies. Yet,...


California Bill Aims to Track Working Conditions At Amazon Warehouses

Among the various bills sitting on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk is AB 701, which would require companies that operate warehouses in California to disclose productivity quotas and tracking information to employees and government agencies. The bill takes aim at Amazon Inc., a global retailer that employs more than 150,000 workers and maintains more than 60 warehouses in California. Workers nationwide have complained about grueling conditions at the company’s distribution centers, which demand...


Historian Adam Tooze on How the Pandemic Exposed Failures of Globalization, Economic Order

In his new book “Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World's Economy,” historian Adam Tooze analyzes the different ways governments around the world responded to the pandemic and what their responses say about the way power works in the modern world. Synthesizing information from dozens of countries, Tooze traces various levels of economic interaction and their impacts “from main streets to central banks, from families to factories, from favelas to traders.” Tooze joins us to discuss “Shutdown”...


Statewide Election Special: The 2021 California Gubernatorial Recall - Part 2

California's recall process has been called undemocratic, confusing and inordinately expensive. We look at proposals both to change it, such as increasing the number of signatures required to put a recall on the ballot, and to eliminate it altogether. And we continue to bring you live analysis of Tuesday's vote and hear your reactions.


Statewide Election Special: The 2021 California Gubernatorial Recall - Part 1

The petition to recall Governor Gavin Newsom began in February of last year. Now, more than a year and a half later, California voters decided against the effort. On the day after the final ballots were cast, we analyze the election results and discuss what they tell us about the future of Gavin Newsom, the state’s Republican party, California’s pandemic response and more.


Mary Roach Explores Collision of Human and Animal Worlds in 'Fuzz'

Bears who break and enter, elephants who commit manslaughter and deer who jaywalk: they’re all the subject of science writer Mary Roach’s latest book “Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law.” Roach spent two years immersed in the quirky, complex world of human-wildlife conflict prevention -- embedding with elephant attack specialists, bear forensics investigators and professional bird scarers. We talk to Roach about why wild animals encroach on human spaces and how we can coexist more peacefully...


How a Climate Disaster Is Also a Sign of Hope

Lake Powell, a 190-mile long reservoir in Utah that holds back the Colorado River, and which can hold 24 million acres of water, has dropped 140 feet since 2000 and 50 feet in the last year. But as the lake's surface recedes, leaving a bathtub-like ring marking its evaporation, Glen Canyon, a natural wonder which was partially flooded by the dam, has reemerged. As Elizabeth Kolbert writes, in that canyon, we are seeing the Colorado River restore itself in real time. Well talk to Kolbert...


California Counts Down to Tuesday Recall Election

The special election to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom is Tuesday. As of Sept. 9, a third of mailed ballots have been returned, according to Political Data, Inc. Current polls show Gov. Newsom in position to survive the recall effort. Still, get out the vote efforts remain strong with President Biden visiting California on Monday to help campaign for Newsom. Conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder continues to lead polling for the candidate to replace Newsom, should he be recalled. One...


Efforts to Restrict Voting Access Gain Traction Nationwide

During the past year, state legislatures across the country have implemented restrictive voting laws that experts say will stop some voters from casting ballots. Voter suppression is not a new phenomenon in the United States, but lawmakers are coming up with new ways to restrict voting access. In Texas for example, a recently passed state law limits the use of ballot drop boxes and impedes election officials from promoting vote-by-mail, according to the New York Times. Efforts to protect...


Thousands of Californians Face Eviction as Moratorium Nears Expiration

California’s eviction moratorium expires on Sept. 30. Renters can still apply for state assistance and receive limited protections through March of next year, but tenants and advocates say the protections offer a patchwork solution and that the rental relief program rollout has been slow and tedious. In fact, only about 18 percent of renters who applied for state rental relief have received money. Meanwhile, more than 750,000 households in California are behind on rent owing an estimated...


Looking Back to 20 Years Ago Today, at Life Before 9/11

Looking back at the news headlines in the Bay Area on September 10, 2001 gives us a snapshot of what consumed us that day. There was violence: a mass shooting in Sacramento, the murder of a family in Bernal Heights. Barry Bonds reached 63 home runs the day before. Democrats were hitting President George W. Bush on the sluggish economy. The Dow Industrial Average neared 10,000. It wouldn’t reach that level again until 2009. We look back at life, politics and culture on 9/10/01 to take measure...


The Texas Abortion Law: One Week Later

The Texas anti-abortion law which the Supreme Court declined to block, took many by surprise. The law prohibits abortions after six weeks, even in the case of rape and incest, and includes a novel civil enforcement provision that would allow private citizens to sue anyone who provides or aids and abets an abortion procedure. In remarks defending the law, Texas Governor Greg Abbott claimed a rape victim could obtain an abortion in the six-week period. Critics, like the Planned Parenthood PAC,...


50 Years After the Attica Prison Rebellion, the Struggle for Prison Reform Continues

Fifty years ago this week, people incarcerated at Attica Correctional Facility in New York rebelled, taking hostages after their requests for reform were denied by prison administrators. Attica State Prison was overpopulated at the time and the majority Black and Latino prisoners lived in dehumanizing conditions, including physical and mental abuse and allowances of only one shower a week. In taking over the prison, one of the voices of the rebellion, Elliot “L.D.” Barkley declared: “We are...


California Nursing Shortage, Made Worse by the Pandemic, Expected to Persist

California faces a shortfall of more than 40,000 full-time equivalent registered nurses, a gap that's expected to last until 2026, according to a new UCSF report. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced experienced nurses to quit the field owing to exhaustion and burnout, and hospitals are struggling to fill positions. We'll talk about the toll the staffing shortage is taking on nurses, patients and hospitals and how to mitigate it.


How Paying Substance Abusers To Stay Sober Works

Rewarding someone for not abusing drugs might sound counterintuitive, but in fact, its a highly effective form of treatment. Called "contingency management," the treatment focuses on positive reinforcement, and the VA has been using it successfully for the last ten years. A bill on California Governor Gavin Newsom's desk would help fund this program statewide. We'll talk to experts about how and why contingency management works and how it could improve treatment outcomes.


Expensive Oakland Police Security Fees Force Cancellation of Community Events

First Fridays, a popular monthly art walk and street fair in Oakland, will restart in October -- months after event organizers originally planned to resume after pandemic closures. They said they couldn’t afford a $24,000 per event fee the Oakland police charged for security. Other events have also been delayed or canceled because of prohibitively expensive security fees, which event organizers say seem arbitrary and often surface at the last minute. Oakland’s city council approved a...


Ask An Infectious Disease Specialist About the Newest Developments in COVID-19 Research

The pandemic might feel endless, but for scientists COVID-19 is still relatively new and research is evolving quickly. We'll talk with an infectious disease specialist about major studies that have come out recently. There are new findings on masks, the effectiveness of vaccines, and how much immunity we get from prior COVID infections. We'll talk about the newest research and treatments and we'll take your questions.


Climate Anxiety and How It Can Lead to Hopefulness

Skies darkened by smoke. Streets flooded by rain. Temperatures so hot, sea animals boiled in the ocean. Given this year of extreme weather, fire and heat, it is no wonder that “eco-anxiety” or “climate dread” have entered our vernacular. But they are more than catchphrases. Climate-induced anxiety is a real set of emotions that can require attention and treatment and for some, those emotions are a call to action. We’ll talk about climate anxiety and the climate solutions it’s helping to...