UC Day in Sacramento
Lobbying highlights need for contruction funding

By Adam Parker and Ellen Chismer

03 April 2002 | More than 500 UC alumni, students and friends showed up to support their University at UC Day in Sacramento, held March 18-19 at the California state capitol. Sponsored by the UC Alumni Associations and organized in tandem with the campus’s government affairs operations, this annual event has become a powerful demonstration of the university’s influence on life in the state.

This year Berkeley sent 30 delegates — alumni, students, campus officials — to Sacramento to raise issues of concern to the university. In small meetings with state legislators, delegates advocated for school and university construction bonds and discussed the impact of UC research on the state economy.

“It is valuable to keep UC in front of legislators,” said Cal alum Bud Henry, ‘54, an experienced delegate Henry believes the lobbying effort is particularly important for reaching legislators without personal ties to the university.

Another delegate emphasized how well the university’s messages were received. “It was great to see the legislators’ enthusiasm for UC,” said Berkeley senior Caroline Wilson. “Even in a tough budget year, maintaining the quality of higher education in California seemed to be a high priority at the capitol.”

A highlight of UC Day was the annual campus dinner at the Firehouse restaurant in Sacramento. Several legislators who are Cal alums attended the dinner, including Assemblywoman Carol Liu, who is a UC Berkeley trustee, and Senators Dick Ackerman, Bob Margett and Tom Torlakson.

At the evening event, undergraduate Phuong Nguyen described founding an outreach program that serves middle-school students in Oakland. Nguyen also described her personal journey — which began with her escape from Vietnam as a baby; she expects to graduate soon, after three years of study, with degree in rhetoric.

Other speakers included Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Gray, who discussed the state of the campus, and ASUC President Wally Adeyemo, who talked of the importance of outreach and diversity at Berkeley.

The following day, at an all-campus lunch, the UC Alumni Associations named two Cal grads — State Senator Bob Margett and Assemblyman Joseph Simitian — legislators of the year. Both were lauded for their votes to fund the California Institutes for Science and Innovation, the four public-private UC research institutes launched over the past two years.

Following UC Day, Governor Davis and legislators got a glimpse of work of top undergraduate researchers from UC campus, including Berkeley senior Sarah Tom.


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Copyright 2002, The Regents of the University of California.
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