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May 1, 2007 > Torrico calls for student civic engagement

Torrico calls for student civic engagement

High school and college students who have ever thought of what law they would change if they were running the state of California, now have the perfect opportunity to make their voices heard - Assembly Member Alberto Torrico's "There Oughta be a Law" competition. Students who live in the 20th Assembly District have until June 29 to submit their ideas for consideration and the best one will be introduced by Torrico in the state Assembly.

The competition is part of Lead the Change: The 2007 Summit on Student Civic Engagement, organized by Torrico in conjunction with California State University East Bay, to be held on May 5, from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. in the Wayne and Gladys Valley Business and Technology Center on CSU East Bay's Hayward campus. The summit will include several workshops and sessions designed to inspire civic engagement and promote youth involvement in public service. Breakfast and lunch will be served and the event is free. Students will have the opportunity to win several prizes and give-aways, including iPods!

"Any neighborhood, community or state is only as strong as the people who reside in it," Torrico said. "But if people are hesitant to participate or afraid their voices won't be heard, we all suffer from their lack of engagement because we only hear from a limited segment of society. This competition and this summit will show how to become civically engaged and how students can have a direct influence on issues that affect their everyday lives.

Students can access the application form for the "There Oughta Be a Law" competition on Assembly Member Torrico's website at The questionnaire asks applicants to describe the problem their proposal is attempting to fix. A registration form for the summit is also available on the website.

During the Summit on Student Civic Engagement, participants will have the opportunity to choose from several sessions regarding student empowerment, including:
_ Lobbying: How to effectively communicate with decision makers
_ Women in Politics: How to get involved on boards and commissions
_ Myspace, YouTube, and beyond: The next generation of activism
_ Making change through policy: Understanding the Legislative Process
_ Students as agents of change: Grassroots activism on the campus and in the community

The keynote speaker will be Delaine Eastin, California's former superintendent of public instruction. The featured speaker will be Arturo J. Gonzalez, a nationally-recognized trial lawyer, who was named one of the nation's top 45 lawyers under 45 in 2003 by American Lawyer magazine.

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