PVPUSD Students Advocate in Sacramento with Capitol Convoy


Capitol Convoy is an esteemed PVPUSD program dedicated to having students advocate for improvements in their local school district as well as schools throughout California. 

In the 2023 iteration, students advocated for the increase of funding for mental health services and infrastructure. 

Students from both Palos Verdes High School and Peninsula High School came together to promote the improvement of their school district and to learn about the legislative process.

On March 7, students arrived in Sacramento to attend a series of seminars hosted by various legislators and policymakers. 

Representatives from Capitol Advisors, a team of experts in California politics, education policy and legislation spoke to students about how Californian legislation functions. 

Lee Angela Reid, one of the Capitol Advisors representatives, explained how Capitol Convoy encourages student development and benefits education.

“I think [Capital Convoy] gives them a first hand view of the process, because it gives them an opportunity to meet with the folks that are making the decisions and particularly, the people that represent them,” Reid said.

Through Capitol Convoy, students are able to meet the people who formulate the policies that affect their everyday lives. 

Being able to have such a huge impact on legislation that could impact millions of students is a valuable experience these students were able to have. 

Students spoke with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, who discussed the importance of mental health, universal meals and gender inclusivity. 

Students also met with the Department of Finance’s Program Budget Manager, Chris Ferguson, who spoke about where California funding is allocated and how allocation is determined. 

Senator John Laird expounded upon how school bonds function as well as his predictions for the new education budget this year. 

The Senior Director of the Association of California School Administrators, Iván Carrillo, shared his heartwarming story about how he went from a drug dealer to a policymaker, providing unique insight into the mental health crises as well as just how important student representation in government truly is. 

Capitol Convoy delegates met with former and current California State Superintendents of Public Institution Jack O’Connell and Tony Thurmond at dinner to discuss advocacy points and have more in-depth conversations about how students may institute change in California. 

California Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, representing parts of the South Bay, also dined with students and discussed the fundamental causes of the mental health crisis as well as environmental justice and improvement of infrastructure in PVPUSD schools.

On March 8, students continued to attend their team legislative appointments where they met with various Californian assembly members and their staff to advocate for mental health and infrastructure funding. 

At noon, students met and had lunch with Muratsuchi once more to further elaborate upon their advocacy points. 

Capitol Convoy allowed for students to have a meaningful experience with local legislators and become more deeply involved in democratic processes.

“Our students are learning first hand how the government works,” Thurmond stated. 

“They’re meeting policymakers and our students are working on policies to improve mental health and school facilities. To me, that’s civics education at its finest and it was an honor to be a part of today’s program. Great things are happening here.”