On March 2nd, our essay winners from around the state gathered together in Sacramento to meet with lawmakers and talk to them about their ideas regarding youth political participation.
To begin the day, students met with Assemlymember Talamantes Eggman, chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Civic Engagement. She talked with them about the importance of getting involved in your community, using examples from her past to illustrate her point. Students had the chance to ask her a lot of great questions about her work, her life, and her career. She had some amazing words of wisdom and advice that she passed on to the winners.
Next, Assemblymember Gonzalez spoke with students about her efforts to increase political participation among youth – including a bill she is authoring to lower the voting age for some elections to 16. In addition, she asked the students to talk about their essays and share some of their ideas on how to get young people more involved in politics. The discussion was extraordinarily interactive, and the Assemblymember even encouraged two students to register to vote on their phones as she was speaking!
The day ended with an incredible visit to the Senate floor, where Senators Hancock and Pavley presented students with certificates of achievement. After the presentation, the essayists learned all about the Senate from Chief Assistant Secretary of the Senate, Bernadette McNulty. A huge thank you to all the lawmakers and their staff who helped make this day an extraordinary success. Opportunities like this are once-in-a-lifetime for students and we could not be more excited about how it turned out!