Prescription Fire: A Hot Topic on the ARP

Posted by Matsui Local Government Fellow
Korbi Thalhammer

While mapping social trails on the American River Parkway in Sacramento, I am often approached by curious walkers, cyclists, and other Parkway users. They’re interested in what I’m doing with my GPS and maps, and when they learn that I’m interning for the County of Sacramento, the main governing agency on the Parkway, they often have some suggestions for how the river corridor could be better cared for.

Simple solutions have also occurred to me as I’ve learned more about the problems facing the Parkway. But the more I ask about why these steps have not been taken, the more I encounter layers of complexity that exist below the surface of Parkway management issues.

A firefighter stands at the ready during a June training burn on the Parkway.

A firefighter stands at the ready during a June training burn on the Parkway.


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A Pilgrimage towards Change

Posted by Matsui Local Government Fellow
Zachary Raden

Writing my final blog, I sit staring at my computer screen in reflection. In reflection on not only the surprises I’ve had over this summer, but also the unexpected journey I’ve experienced to be here today. Graduating from the University of California, Berkeley in May, this internship has been almost an extension of Berkeley to me, and for this reason, this final blog feels very much like a farewell to my academic journey and all that it has meant to me. Continue reading

Interconnecting Systems: Education and Juvenile Justice Reform

Posted by Matsui Local Government Fellow
Gladys Rosario

Time is flying by here at the Alameda County Office of Education. It’s amazing to think that in less than a month I have been able to shadow, converse, and learn from such impactful leaders in the educational community. They have all provided vast insight into how the County functions and deepened my knowledge about educational issues such as the school-to-prison pipeline, education budgets, state education policy and much more. I’ve dipped my toes into various ongoing projects, but one I want to briefly elaborate on relates to juvenile justice reform and the education system.

Board of Ed. pic- I'm standing in the room where the monthly Board of Education meetings are held. This is where elected Board trustees discuss and vote on education policy issues, such as approving the County's annual budget.

I’m standing in the room where the monthly Board of Education meetings are held. This is where elected Board trustees discuss and vote on education policy issues, such as approving the County’s annual budget.

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The Summer I Found My Answer

Carli YoroPosted by Cal-in-Sacramento Fellow Carli Yoro 

“Why do you want to work in government? It’s too bureaucratic, it’s inefficient, and you could be working somewhere else for more money.” This sentiment is not a new one. I have heard this from countless family members, friends, and even teachers/mentors. My biggest issue with that question and cynical perspective is not that people always present it, it is at times I have found myself almost believing it. Almost. Although I have tentatively responded to this question before, after seeing government in action this summer, I have found my definitive answer.

Me with two of my supervisors and Cal EPA Climate Change Advisers Mark Wenzel (Left) and Ryan Radford (Right)

Me with two of my supervisors and Cal EPA Climate Change Advisers Mark Wenzel (Left) and Ryan Radford (Right)

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From Cal-in-Sac to LULAC: Helping to Organize the 2015 National Youth Convention

 

Posted by Former Cal-in-Sacramento Fellow Jackie Caro-Sena

My involvement in Cal-in-Sac during the 2014 cycle has dramatically opened doors for me in ways I could not have imagined. Aside from gaining mentorship and networks in Sacramento, I was able to get a letter of recommendation from my former supervisor, the principal consultant for the California Latino Legislative Caucus, to be a participant in the UCDC Program in my final semester as an undergrad in the Spring of 2015.

LULAC Education and Youth Leadership Programs team at LULAC National Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah

LULAC Education and Youth Leadership Programs team at LULAC National Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah

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To Public Policy, or Not to Public Policy

Posted by Cal-in-Sacramento Fellow Robert Nuñez 

I came in to the Cal-in-Sac program with a mission; I had the desire to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my life. Simple right? After only 1 year as a Bear so far, I’m already entering my senior year. Naturally, I was beginning to get that “I have no skills or applicable knowledge” type of feeling, and freaking out about what was actually in store for me as a political science major with a public policy minor. My intention was to decide whether I would be spending most of my free time next year studying for law school, or begin preparing for graduate school.

While finding a definite answer is never easy, what I did discover is that my options are not as black and white as I thought, and that my future is not as bleak as I expected. One of the benefits of attending a University like Berkeley is being constantly bombarded by amazing opportunities, which could potentially give you a future. Cal-in-Sac has definitely been one of those opportunities.

Me with Senator Lara and me office colleagues.

Me with Senator Lara and my office colleagues.

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The Law Lives

Posted by Cal-in-Sacramento Fellow
Kerida Moates

Away from the Capitol, it’s difficult to understand the necessity of such a plethora of bills. It seems as though California has an incredible amount of law and regulation. So why pass so much legislation each week?

On Monday, June 29, I found the answer. Like almost every Monday afternoon, I attended the Assembly Committee on Transportation. When SB 344 came before the Committee, I watched as two grief stricken parents testified to the committee about how their son, Daniel, was tragically killed when a truck driver lost control of his vehicle and hit Daniel’s car. The bill would require an individual to complete a course of instruction through the DMV in order to obtain a commercial driver’s license. Daniel’s parents, and the author, Senator Monning, felt as though increased training would help prevent future tragedies. Continue reading