jump to contentsacramento state - leadership begins here  
sac state homeadmissionsabout sac stategiving a giftsite indexcontact us
The LegiSchool Project ~ Real Issues... Real Debate... Real Curriculum

Town Hall Meetings

2008-2009 LegiSchool Town Hall Meetings

Mark your calendars now for this year’s LegiSchool Town Hall Meeting

Election 2008:  Picking Our President
Location: Secretary of State’s office
October 24, 2008

The turnout of young voters is expected to have a huge impact on the 2008 Presidential election.  With many issues facing the nation -- the war in Iraq, rising gas prices, and the economy, the 2008 election is widely regarded as the most important election in years.  The two major party candidates are Senator John McCain of the Republican Party and Senator Barack Obama of the Democratic Party.  This Town Hall Meeting will examine the process by which we elect our President and the hot issues in this election.  The goal of the meeting is to enable students to make informed voting decisions as they learn more about the candidates seeking the presidency and the issues driving the election.  Following the Town Hall Meeting, students will vote in a mock election using the latest voting technology. 

Career Technical Training: Is College for Everyone?
Location: Sacramento
December 4, 2008                                          

Trade and industry jobs are among those on the rise in California, but there are not enough trained individuals to fill them.  With more and more pressure for high school students to attend four year colleges, the educational focus has shifted to a college prep based curriculum; with high school career technical training all but eliminated across the state.  While a college degree is very valuable, is college for everyone?  There are many career paths in California that high school graduates can pursue that do not require a college education, but do require specialized career technical training.  After years of neglect and underfunded programs, career technical training (vocational education) is making a comeback in California high schools.  Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has increased funding for these programs.  In 2005, $20 million was invested by the state to expand the availability of career technical training programs, with proposed additional funding in the future.  It is clear that California is determined to send the message to all high school students that there is a road for everyone.  During this Town Hall Meeting, students will have the chance to discuss with policymakers the importance and relevance of career technical training in their high schools, and how it impacts teens and their educational experience.

California Offshore Drilling: Exploration vs. Conservation
Location: Sacramento
February 5, 2009

 Home to one of the longest and most beautiful coastlines in the world, California has banned offshore drilling for over a quarter century.  However, with rising gas prices and increased energy needs, some policymakers are proposing that California lift the ban and allow companies to drill for oil off California’s coast.  Conversely, there are those who remain opposed to lifting the ban, and instead advocate for the development of alternative energy sources and conservation as the answer to combating the record gas prices and increasing energy needs.  This Town Hall Meeting will give students a chance to examine both sides of this extremely controversial issue with policymakers.  Additionally, students will have the chance to share their ideas regarding what individuals can do to have a positive impact on the environment.

Rules of the Road: Teen Cell Phone Ban
Location: Sacramento
April 2, 2009

You’ve lived with it, now this is your chance to talk about it!  In September of 2007, SB 33 authored by Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), was signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Under that law, as of July 1, 2008, drivers under the age of 18 were banned from all cell phone use (talking and text messaging), while driving. The issue was hotly debated in both the Assembly and Senate, but in the end, SB 33 proved successful in changing the rules of the road.   Supporters of the measure relied on key studies to argue their case for the ban.  According to a Ford Motor Company study, teens are four times more likely to be distracted by cell phone use than adults. Additionally, in a study conducted by the California Highway Patrol, they found that cell phone use is a primary cause of accidents caused by distracted drivers.  On the other hand, some studies have made the point that it is not the holding of the phone that is distracting, but the conversation itself.  During this Student Run Press Conference, students will have the opportunity to discuss with policymakers the positive and negative impacts that this law has had on teen drivers, and examine whether or not they think it has been effective in creating better teen drivers.  This meeting is part of LegiSchool’s annual Student Legislative Summit and participants are selected from LegiSchool’s essay contest.

Previous Meetings