Assemblywoman starts 'There Ought to be a Law' contest

Baker asks high school students to propose legislation through videos

In an effort to engage Tri-Valley teenagers, Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-San Ramon) has launched a video contest for high school students in her district to propose a bill idea to address a problem impacting California that they think requires a legislative solution.

The winner of the "There Ought to be a Law" competition will have the chance to join Baker at the State Capitol to introduce their bill for the State Assembly in committee and receive special recognition from the Assembly, according to Baker's office.

"This contest will be a great opportunity for high school students to learn about the legislative process and the importance of civic participation," the first-term assemblywoman, whose district includes Pleasanton, said in a statement. "I'm hopeful many students will find the task of creating their own short video to be both a fun and educational experience."

Participating students are asked to create a two- to six-minute video explaining the problem their bill idea would address, details of what their bill would do to solve the problem and evidence to support the need for the legislation.

Contestants can also submit an optional, but recommended, essay of up to 1,000 words detailing the bill idea, according to Baker's office.

In the video or essay, students must address why the state government should solve their problem rather than the local or federal government, the private sector or nonprofits and they must explain how the proposed legislation would be funded.

The bill idea doesn't need to create a new program or regulation; the student's concept could be to repeal, replace or modify existing law.

Contestants must upload their video to YouTube and send the link to Baker's office by visiting and clicking on "There Ought To Be A Law" on the right-hand side of the page. Submissions are due Nov. 27.

Baker's office will then review all submissions and select the top three videos. On Dec. 3, the three finalists will be added to the "Catharine Baker" YouTube channel. The public can vote by "liking" the video, and the video with the most "likes" by Dec. 17 will win.

"I'm eager to receive many quality video submissions into our contest and hear students' valuable insight into the problems that require a legislative fix," Baker added. "It will be an honor to host the contest winner at the State Capitol as they introduce their bill before the California State Assembly."

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