A well-known political analyst will lead a conversation in Burbank this Wednesday about how to find solutions for hyper-partisanship and political gridlock in the state and federal government as well as ways to improve voter engagement.

Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC and former chairman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, will discuss the influence of money on politics, the “diminished political center” and voter alienation, said Lee Wochner, president of Leadership Burbank, a community-based organization that offers a nine-month leadership training program for people who live or work in Burbank.

Schnur said partisanship is driving voters away from getting involved.

“American voters are so unhappy with politics and politicians that more and more of them are simply giving up and checking out of the process all together,” Schnur said Tuesday. “Leadership Burbank is a perfect example to me of a group whose members won't give up.”

Schnur believes the fundraising that politicians are forced to undertake has an “absolutely debilitating” impact on their ability to govern. 

One solution, he said, is banning fundraising during the legislative session.

During the talk, Schnur will also delve into the importance of greater political involvement and rebuilding the political center to let politicians work better across party lines.

“Leadership in Washington D.C. seems utterly broken,” Wochner said. “(Schnur) is well-versed in the root causes of this situation and he has real ideas about how to implement change.”

The event will take place at Woody's Café at Woodbury University — located at 7500 N. Glenoaks Blvd. — at 6:30 p.m. 

Event-goers will have an opportunity to share comments and ask questions. Admission is free.

“I think this could be a cleansing opportunity for people to come, get it out of their system and hear there's hope,” Wochner said.

For more information, visit www.leadershipburbank.org

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Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.

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