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June 4, 2014

Scene and Heard: Michael Douglas

“My roots run deep in this city,” said Michael Douglas as he greeted guests at the Ploughshares Fund Chain Reaction Gala on Tuesday, June 3, in San Francisco. The actor noted that his breakout role as inspector Steve Keller in the ’70s TV series “The Streets of San Francisco” helped to launch his career, but he said his fondness for the city began long before that. “I used to ride my motorcycle up from UC Santa Barbara in the ‘6os to catch concerts at [Bill Graham’s] Fillmore West,” said the actor as he welcomed guests to the Presidio. Douglas, who has been a supporter of nuclear non-proliferation initiatives for over 40 years, kicked off the evening’s discussion of peaceful solutions for Iran’s nuclear program between leaders from the Jewish-American and Iranian-American communities.

Joe Cirincione, president of Ploughshares, facilitated the dialogue between Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of Israeli organization J Street, and Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council. Both men expressed optimism and said they hoped for a peaceful resolution of next month’s nuclear deal between the U.S. and Iran. “I think there is a possibility of a positive chain reaction,” said Parsi. Ben-Ami echoed the leader’s pro-peace position saying “There is strong incentive for both parties around the table right now.” The evening celebrated Douglas’ retirement after a decade of serving on the Ploughshares Fund board, and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon personally thanked Douglas for his humanitarian efforts during a video message that was streamed in the auditorium during the gala.

By Jennifer McCullum

Pictured: Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones at the Ploughshares Fund Gala in San Francisco.
Photo by Drew Altizer Photography

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