The Youth & Government program begins in September when 2,300 young people and 250 volunteers at approximately 80 locations throughout the state meet as individual delegations to discuss issues facing California. During a nine month period, the teen delegates write bills, select governmental positions to role-play, attend statewide training conferences, and run for various elected offices. The program reaches its peak in Sacramento at the State Capitol with the convening of the five day Model Legislature and Court each February. There, “real” government moves over and the teen delegates “take over,” using the historic halls, chambers, and offices of our State Capitol, Supreme Court, and Governor’s Office.
|Ms.Drea The Poet
A statewide committee of leading citizens, including several State officials and legislators, was organized. The committee, now known as the Governing Board, secured resolutions of both legislative houses for the youth delegates to use the Senate and Assembly Chambers. State officials worked as consultants to youth officers as well as conducting training sessions for delegates.
Today’s expanded program includes a Judicial Program featuring Trial, Jury Trial, Appellate, Judicial Review and Supreme Courts, a dual Legislative Program, and special programs for Pages, Print and Video journalists, Legislative Lobbyists, Legislative Analysts, and others. Freshman delegates have a special Forum program designed especially for first year delegates. Manuals and advisory bulletins continue to provide local advisors with the best experience of other Youth & Government Programs. During the last twenty years, California has sent its Youth Governor to the YMCA Youth Conference on National Affairs each summer in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Since 1992 California’s delegation has increased to thirty delegates and advisors, enjoying success at this highly competitive conference.