The Alameda Public Affairs Forum is a voluntary non-profit, non-partisan educational group whose purpose is to educate the public in Alameda and the wider San Francisco-East Bay Area about issues of local, national, and international concern.

The APAF presents forums, discussion meetings and seminars to which the public is invited free of charge.

Voluntary donations to cover the costs of presenting the meetings and publicity are solicited at the meetings.

We’ve inaugurated a new custom to begin the evening: a reception with snacks and juice and coffee before the Forum, starting at 6PM, in the Library coffee shop – bring your favorite finger food, dessert or juice etc., to share. A good time to chat with the guest speaker(s) and your other friends before the Forum program at 7:15.

For more information,

Contact APAF


Eliz Eliassen photoDr. Arthur Lipow grew up in Southern California and attended high school in Pasadena, California, receiving his B.A. in sociology from UCLA (1955). He then studied under Professor Seymour Martin Lipset at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received a Ph.D. in political sociology in 1969.

He taught at a number of institutions of higher education, the last of which was Birkbeck College and the Institute of United States Studies at the University of London. He has published four books, including Authoritarian Socialism: Edward Bellamy and the Nationalist Movement; Political Parties and Democracy; Neither Capitalism nor Socialism: Theories of Bureaucratic Collectivism (co-edited with Ernest Haberkern); and The Other City (co-edited with Susanne MacGregor).

He is a founder of “Charter 88,” the British constitutional reform movement which proposes a democratic Bill of Rights for Britain. He was formerly Director of the Michael Harrington Center at Birkbeck College and then co-founding Executive Director of Labour and Society International in London. The Harrington Centre was funded by City University of New York, and chaired by the late President of CUNY and former Peace Corps Director in Ethiopia, Professor Joseph Murphy. Among its other projects, the Centre initiated a program to assist the development of higher education in Africa, sponsored by UNESCO and the United Nations Development Project (UNDP). Dr. Lipow organized and participated in an international conference in Ethiopia in 1992, sponsored by UNESCO and UNDP, to further cooperation between institutions of higher learning North and South.

Labour and Society International (LSI) was sponsored by five International Trade Secretariats (ITSs) and funded by the European Union to carry on labor education and organize Centers for Democracy and Civil Society in post-communist Central and Eastern Europe.

In Britain, Dr. Lipow was a member of the Labour Party and an active participant in European Nuclear Disarmament (END).

Upon his retirement in 1998, Dr. Lipow returned to California. Together with his wife, Gretchen Lipow, he co-founded the Alameda Public Affairs Forum in 2004 and the Center for Global Peace and Democracy in 2007. He now lives in Alameda, where he is currently writing a book on the future of American politics and, in partnership with Gretchen, actively opposing the local D.P., or “The Developers’ Party” (commonly known as the Democratic Party), which wishes to make a beautiful island city into a Developers’ Paradise.



Unless otherwise noted, the Forum is held every second Saturday evening from 7 to 9:30 pm in Conference Rooms A/B at the Alameda Free Library, 1550 Oak St. (Oak & Lincoln), Alameda, California. Come at 6:30 to snack and socialize. Bring something to share.

Enter the Library through the back entrance off of the parking lot.

Wheelchair accessible!


On Public Transit:

From Fruitvale BART, take AC Transit 50 to SW Corner of Park St. at Santa Clara. Walk NW one block to Oak St. Turn right.