Lobby or Lose: Meeting Senator Ricardo Lara

3/05/2015


Every year CSSA, California State Student Association, holds their annual CHESS, California Higher Education Student Summit, at Sacramento State. This year ASI, Associated Students Inc. of CSUDH, were able to attend the 20th Annual summit where they would learn lobbying skills to help with their individual meetings at the capitol on Monday March 2nd.


The goal is simple, address the concerns of your campus while promoting the gap in the Governor's budget that consisted of 97.1 million dollars that would affect the higher education system in California. My lobby team considered taking a stance on graduation and retention rates affecting the Hispanic and undocumented students on our campus. Knowing that Senator Lara sits on many financial and budget committees we felt he could understand the nature of the how the loss of 97.1 million could greatly affect our campus. We also understood that he was a strong advocate for the less fortunate. Having passed significant bills such as The California Dream Act in support of AB 540, undocumented students, both addressed our concerns head on. Therefore, we recognized Senator Lara as asset to our campaign to retain students and boost their graduation rate being that we are predominately a Hispanic serving campus.

For me, Senator Lara is a like a celebrity, because I have admired him as a person but also a professional. He has come from humble beginnings to not show leadership but also humility and integrity. Our lobby efforts were met with questions about our campus, our President, and most importantly our students. It was pleasure to discuss the positives as well as the negative. We sat in a room full of pride for California which put us at ease. We sat across from a man who was more concerned with how to move CSUDH forward than he was about the minutes flying by in the hour he so willingly spared.

We shook hands, took pictures, and mostly important shared a common culture around advocacy. We want to thank Senator Lara for his time and consideration.

We, as students, hope to see changes in legislation, our campus, but most importantly from ourselves to reflect the experience we gained from meeting the Senator.

GO TOROS!

This article is dedicated to my lobby team, Chris Fernandez, ASI President and Manny Pelayo, Director of Legislative Affairs. 



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This blog is NOT geared toward sexual orientation or gender classification. This blog is based solely on the blog authors experience and research. This blog is geared toward promoting a mixture of masculine and feminine attire and with an integrated genderless lifestyle.

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