MPP Students to Meet with Elected Leaders, Policy Staff in Sacramento

Inaugural MPP Sacramento Policy Seminar on May 26 will engage SPP graduate students in discussions about key state policy issues

state capitol building

Master of Public Policy students will travel to Sacramento on May 26 for policy briefings and discussions with state policymakers.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Master of Public Policy students in the UC Riverside School of Public Policy will meet with top elected officials and key state policy staff in a daylong trip to Sacramento on Thursday, May 26.

A highlight of the inaugural MPP Sacramento Policy Seminar will be the presentation of the SPP’s first Policy Innovator award to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-South Gate) at an evening reception that will cap a full day of meetings and policy briefings at the state Capitol.

“One of the ways in which the UCR School of Public Policy distinguishes itself from other policy schools is by addressing issues that are important locally and statewide, from water management to immigration policy to health care and education,” explained Anil Deolalikar, dean of the School of Public Policy. “The Sacramento visit will add a critically important experiential element to our students’ education in how policy at the state level is actually debated, formulated, refined and implemented.”

“Putting policy theory into practice is what this seminar is all about,” said Jesse Melgar, founder of the MPP Sacramento Policy Seminar and a member of the inaugural class of MPP students. “We will engage in meaningful dialogue with top-level elected leaders and policy staff who are charting California’s future by tackling the state’s and nation’s most pressing issues.”

Nearly all 27 MPP students will participate in the Sacramento seminar, thanks in large part to Southwest Airlines, which provided complimentary tickets to the students for air travel.

“At Southwest, we are dedicated to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit,” said Lidia Martinez, manager of corporate community affairs at Southwest Airlines. “Included in our mission is a commitment to empowering the communities we serve. The inaugural cohort of MPP students at the UCR School of Public Policy inspired us with their vision to take their education into their own hands and design a seminar that connects them with elected leaders, policy professionals and the Sacramento community. We are proud to support the efforts of these future policy innovators.”

While in Sacramento the SPP students will engage in discussions with state leaders about the California political and policy landscape; policy issues related to state finance, higher education, health and the environment; and careers in public policy.

Among the state officials they will meet with are Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Treasurer John Chiang, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, Sen. Richard Roth (D-Riverside), Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), Assembly Member Jose Medina (D-Riverside), Assembly Minority Leader Chad Mayes (R-Rancho Mirage), Assembly Member Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina), and former Sen. Robert Presley, for whom UCR’s Robert Presley Center for Crime and Justice Studies is named.

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