The Associated Students of CSM sent six members of the Student Senate to Washington, DC to advocate for education on behalf of CSM students. From April 9 to 13th, the students attended various workshops on advocacy. Using information from these workshops, the students crafted a message they would share with federal legislators. They focused their advocacy on two major issues: increased funding for categorical programs and support for HR 4196, the Community College Emergency Stabilization Act. While the categorical programs are mostly state funded, the students made the case that without federal assistance and due to the lack of state support, the effectiveness of these programs will be greatly diminished in coming years. They advocated for HR4196 as it would award grants to community colleges (based on student population increases and the local unemployment rate) to pay for staff and faculty salaries.
During their visit, the students met with staff members from the offices of Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo and Congressman Pete Stark. The group was well-received, gaining support from all three Congressmembers on these issues. In a testament to their preparedness, Congresswoman Eshoo’s legislative assistant remarked that it was one of the best meetings that she had participated in, and that the students should consider lobbying as a profession.