Larry Gerston leads two lives as an academic and as a communications specialist. A professor emeritus of political science at San Jose State University, Larry Gerston examines the public policy making process. His Public Policy Making in a Democratic Society: A Guide to Civic Engagement has been heralded for defining “hands on” citizen participation. Recall! California’s Political Earthquake (with Terry Christensen), was selected as “outstanding academic book of 2004” by the American Library Association. Confronting Reality: Ten Problems Threatening to Implode American Society (and How We Can Fix It) addresses fundamental themes that Americans refuse to face. Gerston’s Not So Golden After All: The Rise and Fall of California, has been praised for comprehensively addressing the unique phenomenon known as California.
Gerston’s twelfth book, Reviving Citizenship Engagement: Policies to Renew National Community, was published in December 2014.
Larry Gerston appears twice weekly as the political analyst at NBC11 (the Bay Area NBC station). He has been on NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, BBC, NPR, and CNN’s Inside Politics and has been quoted in the major print media including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times. He speaks several times each year in the U.S. and abroad on civic engagement and political empowerment.
In the real world, Larry Gerston has extensive expertise in media training, message development, community outreach, focus group facilitation, crisis communications, and strategic thinking. He has been the political analyst at NBC11 (the Bay Area NBC station), since 1980, where he appears on a regular basis. Since 2002, he has also been a political analyst at KCBS radio. In these environments, he has honed the ability to convey complex messages in layman’s terms. On four occasions, he has received First Place awards from the Peninsula Press Club for outstanding writing.
Larry Gerston has conducted more than three dozen surveys for clients including Santa Clara County, the San Jose Mercury News, Joint Venture: Silicon Valley, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and numerous private sector organizations. He has consulted for three state legislatures (California, Nevada and Wyoming) on public policy issues.
On a lighter note, Larry Gerston has written The Costco Experience: An Unofficial Survivor’s Guide. As with his more serious writings, this book focuses on individual empowerment.