New York City, NY
Saturday, October 06, 2012
FOR IMMEDEATE RELEASE:
JSA Hosts Debra Bowen at Fall Leadership Conference
Southern California Junior State Hosts First Annual Fall Leadership Conference
October 6, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA - The Southern California Junior State Fall Leadership Conference was hosted at the University of Southern California on September 29, 2012. The Fall Leadership Conference was specifically geared to individuals looking to take their JSA experience to the next level as leaders of the Southern California Junior State.
Debra Bowen spoke to the attendees about the importance of democratic participation. Bowen told the story of how she became interested in politics through watching her local her local Neighborhood Watch. Secretary Bowen also spoke about the landmark legislation she authored including the first-in-the-nation law to put all of California's legislative information online.
Bowen was an attorney who served for fourteen years in the California State Legislature. She was elected California's Secretary of State in November 2006. Secretary Bowen is responsible for overseeing state and federal elections. Bowen is also in charge of managing various business and nonprofit organization filings, campaign finance and lobbying activity filings, the state archives, and other key government services.
"We were all excited to hear Debra Bowen speak. She has made great contributions to improve the California political system," said Ernesto Ambrocio, a student leader in the Southern California Junior State who attended the conference.
Dan Schnur, the Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California, spoke to the crowd of high school students about characteristics of leaders. Schnur also discussed the upcoming presidential debates and their importance to the election.
Schnur was the Chairman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission. Although raised a Democrat, he was a political strategist for the Republican Party and work as Senator John McCain's Communications Director in his 2000 presidential primary campaign against George W. Bush. His address to the student leaders was engaging and inspiring.
In addition to listening to guest speakers, JSA leaders spoke about new initiatives for the 2012-2013 Academic Year. A voter registration drive was held in which Junior Statesman eligible to vote in this November's election were registered to vote. The Southern California Junior State also worked with the Secretary Bowen to host mock elections at schools through MyVote.
Nicole Michelson, the Southern California Junior State Speaker of the Assembly, announced a new activism program between the Junior State and local congressmen through youth advisory boards.
There were several debates and thought talks, among them was a debate on whether the US should have a maximum wage. The best speaker for that debate, as voted by the members of the audience, was Kevin Gu. There was also thought talk about requiring students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Many of the debates were provocative and controversial, encouraging students to share their views and get involved in the political process.
Grant Crater, the Southern California JSA Lieutenant Governor, said "With the election approaching fast, it was great to see so many people my age excited to learn more about the issues surrounding this race, while also developing a greater understanding of how students can get further involved in our political process." Junior State of America (JSA):
JSA's mission is to strengthen American democracy by educating and preparing high school students for life-long involvement and responsible leadership in a democratic society. In the student-run Junior State and at JSA summer schools and summer institutes, participants learn statesmanship as they engage in political discourse. –Should use the standard JSA pitch Jeff included in previous email: Providing civics education and leadership programs for nearly 80 years, JSA is the largest student-run organization in the United States. School-year programs take place in more than 450 secondary schools in 35 states, with more than 10,000 members. The JSA program is supported by the Junior Statesmen Foundation Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt educational corporation, which provides guidance to JSA's student leaders. It has offices in San Mateo, Calif., and Washington, D.C. More information is available at http://www.jsa.org/
New York City, NY