AP Government Public Policy Project – Conducting Policy Meetings in Sacramento with Legislative Staff and State Reps
On Monday, December 3, the first day of the new state legislative session, Kehillah AP Government students boarded a train to Sacramento at 5:00 am. Their ultimate goal was to complete their end-of-semester public policy project, but also share and debate ideas on state laws with main stakeholders that are meaningful to their study of Government and Public Policy. Each student picked state bills to research. Some students questioned existing laws, and some created their own, all had their personal spin. They brought issues to the table such as training for teachers on working with LGBTQ students, making community college free, eliminating the sales tax on feminine hygiene products, paying incarcerated firefighters more, decriminalizing psilocybin mushrooms, expanding local rank choice voting, and expanding “red flag” gun injunctions. Each student group took full control of the policy process, as well as finding and setting up meetings in Sacramento. They then fielded over twenty policy meetings with legislative staff and state representatives, including Senator Jerry Hill. They also met with a range of state lobbyists including the California Taxpayer Association and UC Student Association for advice on how to advocate effectively. Students also sat in on two criminal trials before returning home on a late night train that same day.