Leslie Bruce loves politics, unabashedly.
Instructor Profile: Leslie Bruce, Politics & Public Policy of U.S. Healthcare: Washington, D.C.
“Some people hate everything about politics, but I’m always fascinated by it,” said Bruce, a UC San Diego Extension instructor who loves the process as much as the politics. “When people talk about ‘them’ and ‘they’ and ‘the government,’ they’re really talking about us. Because our government is us. We elect these people through a democratic process.
“And I love teaching how that happens.”
Her next course, “Politics & Public Policy of U.S. Healthcare: Washington, D.C.,” starts April 21.
Through her connections, she and her students will meet face-to-face with the state’s top state legislators, staffers and policy advocates. “We get to meet the kind of decision-makers you wouldn’t expect,” she said. “But they’re willing to open their door to us because we’re willing to learn. It’s very heartening.”
After relocating from Long Island, N.Y. to San Diego in 2002, she earned her law degree at the University of San Diego. That’s when she made a disturbing discovery about herself.
“I decided that I really hated practicing law,” she said, “but I loved the process of making law.”
Bruce’s area of expertise, U.S. healthcare, is a highly inflamed topic these days.
As for the Affordable Care Act, she’s a supporter though she’s “politically agnostic” in the classroom while encouraging students to form their own opinions.
“I believe we need to work to fix it, as opposed to trying to tear it down or make it go away,” she said. “This is the process we always go through with major legislation.”
Amid the tumult, one constant of the political process prevails: “All of us have the opportunity to help shape laws and public policy for the better,” she said, “no matter our personal beliefs. Democracy always works better when more people participate.”