Senator Henry Stern Conversation Answers Questions, Champions Advocacy

State Senator Henry Stern addresses a room of Pierce College students for their annual Day of Politics.

You can make a difference.

It was a simple message, but consistently, the conversation between California Senator Henry Stern and UCLA journalist-in-residence Jon Christensen, came back to civic action and what students in the crowd could do to make a difference.

“The real work is in advocacy and leaning on local representatives like me to make sure we are serving you,” said Stern, who just completed his first year in the state legislature as the youngest member of the Senate, representing the 27th district.

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Assemblymember Cristina Garcia Gives Inside Look at State Politics

Cristina Garcia’s day at UCLA began with a meeting with Ramona Cortés Garza, executive director of UCLA State Relations, and LPPI’s leadership — Political Science and Chicana/o Studies Professor Matt A. Barreto, Luskin Dean Gary M. Segura and LPPI Director Sonja Diaz. (Photo by Bryce Carrington)

Cristina Garcia of the California State Assembly spoke about her efforts to make government more transparent during an Oct. 16, 2017, gathering at UCLA hosted by the Latino Policy and Politics Initiative. Garcia talked about the grassroots battle against political corruption in the 58th Assembly District in Southeast Los Angeles that eventually led her to seek office.

“I’m an idealist at heart, and I do believe that we can have a democracy that works for us all.” Garcia talked about her three policy pillars: government transparency, women’s issues and environmental justice.

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Immigration experts call for unity to protect Dreamers and pass legislation

Dae Joong Yoon, executive director of the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium, talks about his time protesting for immigrants rights in front of the White House. (photos by Les Dunseith)

As the country reckons with President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, expert panelists discussing immigration at a UCLA event Sept. 12 noted that now is the time for everyone who supports immigration reform to advocate for legislation that would protect those who are undocumented.

“I feel 100 percent protected at this point,” said Marcela Zhou, a UCLA medical student who is undocumented, as part of the discussion held at the Cross Campus gathering space in downtown Los Angeles. “But we really need the support from the community to continue fighting.”

Zhou was speaking as part of “Public Discussion: L.A. Leaders on Immigration and Civic Action,” which included immigration experts from UCLA and beyond, all trying to make sense of what transpired a week ago and what needs to be done now.

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Postcard from Sacramento: Institute of Transportation Studies Keeps California Moving

Head representatives of the Institute of Transportation Studies chat with Assemblymember Vince Fong.

When members of the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS) meet with elected officials, they often pride themselves on being ready for just about any topic that might come up during the discussion. If something new comes up, they are ready to dive in headfirst.

“We want to do research on questions people don’t know the answers to,” ITS Director Brian Taylor said during a recent campus meeting with Assemblymember Vince Fong. “We take this public policy mandate seriously.”

That public policy mandate was taken up a notch during the last year, when the California State Legislature ratified a bill that will distribute approximately $5 million to University of California to be divided among ITS units at UC campuses in Los Angeles, Berkeley, Irvine and Davis.

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Summer Recess UCLA Campus Showoff: Assemblymembers Visit

Assemblymember Vince Fong examines special 3D imaging technology at CNSI.

Legislative recess is a time for elected officials to come back home and reconnect with their constituencies. UCLA is a proud member of the community, and university officials were thrilled to conduct on-campus meetings with three California legislators during a jam-packed two weeks.

A special “thank you” to Assemblymembers Vince Fong, Raul Bocanegra and Dante Acosta, for visiting our campus and learning about so many amazing programs, along with meeting with enthusiastic students and faculty who are ready to start long-lasting partnerships with each of you.

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University of California sues Trump administration on unlawful repeal of DACA program

The University of California today (Sept. 8) filed suit in federal court against the Trump administration for wrongly and unconstitutionally violating the rights of the University and its students by rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on “nothing more than unreasoned executive whim.”

The lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its acting secretary, Elaine Duke, is the first to be filed by a university seeking to stop the Trump administration’s recently announced decision to end the DACA program, which has allowed nearly 800,000 undocumented young people to legally live, work and study in the United States.
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