Delegation Preps for Statewide Model Legislature, Court


The Diablo Valley Delegation attends Training and Elections II at Camp Roberts in Paso Robles, CA.

Luther Kuefner, Staff Writer

The Diablo Valley Youth & Government Delegation (DVY), along with other delegations from across the state, participated in the 2nd Training and Elections at Camp Roberts, a California National Guard post in Paso Robles. The conference, which was held January 19 and 20, was in preparation for the 65th Model Legislature and Court, slated for February 14 at the State Capitol in Sacramento.

According to Club President Matthew Freeman, “The goal is to train delegates in their specific roles for the conference in Sacramento.” Program areas for the Model Legislature and Court include Lobbyists, Political Parties, and the Board of Education.

A combination of YMCA professional staff and volunteers trained delegates at the 2nd Training and Elections. While delegates were introduced to their roles at the 1st Training and Elections in November, they became more intimately familiarized with them at Paso Robles.

Delegate Ariana Dokhanchy prepared for her role in the Appellate Court by reviewing a case regarding same-sex marriage. According to Dokhanchy, delegates in the Appellate Court prepared by discussing the details of their cases and reviewing precedents and prior cases.

Delegates were also elected to positions of power at the 2nd Training and Elections. Freeman, who initially campaigned for Presiding Justice of Judicial Review, was appointed to the Youth Governor’s cabinet. At the 65th Model Lgislature and Court, Freeman will be responsible for supporting the legislative agenda of the Youth Governor. Delegate Maddy Yzurdiaga was also appointed part of Judicial Review, a specialized component of the Court Program.

According to the California YMCA Youth and Government website, delegates from across the state will be provided “with the opportunity to experience government first-hand and to learn how to solve community problems through the democratic process as well as debate and discuss issues with their peers.” For the 65th Model Legislature and Court, according to delegate Mikaela Moore, the DVY has come up with 3 different bills for the Senate: a green energy bill represented by junior Spencer Nichols, a traffic congestion bill represented by junior Stephanie Zhong, and a financial literacy bill represented by junior Phillip Richards. Senior Aaron Weiner believes that the traffic congestion bill has a chance to progress through the hoops of the Model Legislature and Court. “Although the bill can be argued either way, I think the bill has a lot of potential to succeed,” said Weiner.

The DVY rode a charter bus to Paso Robles on Saturday morning, and returned home Monday morning. It was the first time delegates gathered at Camp Roberts. The 1st Training and Elections were held in Tulare, CA, but due to ongoing renovations at that site, an alternate was used.

A new program area was added to the Model Legislature and Court: the Department of Finance and Polling.

Moore said, “I’m really excited not only for the political aspect of it, but also for the opportunity to see my friends from all over the state.”